The Net Book of Plots – Volume 1

The Net Book of Plots

Volume 1

Editors Note:
This book was converted to a new format, made for conversion to HTML
and for indexing. My enormous thanks go to Alexander Forst
(alex@complang.tuwien.ac.at) and to Soh Kam Hung (h.soh@trl.telstra.com.au)
for their dedicated efforts in designing this tagging scheme and help in
tagging and editing the plots. I hope all enjoy this new collection and
dont forget to tell the authors how it went if you run a plot.

———————————————————————–

One-Liners
Authors of Volume 1

One-line
Fantasy
Any
Any
Lich
Dragon -Help the local good, but dying, wizard to attain lichdom.
-Prevent evil nasties from overcoming the local good lich.
-Find the lost good lich and get help to cure a generic plague.
-Go to kill the lich only to find it’s actually good.
-Save the Dragon from the Evil Princess.

=========================================================================
The Bankrupt Alchemist
Authors of Volume 1
One-line
Fantasy
Quest
Any An alchemist hires the party to recover a shipment of supplies that
was hijacked enroute. If he doesn’t get them back, he faces bankruptcy.
=========================================================================
The Punished Thief
Authors of Volume 1
One-line
Fantasy
Quest
Affliction
Any Caught while stealing from a mage, the thief in the party is sent on a
geas to steal an artifact from a colleague as punishment.
=========================================================================
Unknown Protection
Authors of Volume 1
One-line
Any
Guarding
Any You are assigned to protect a person, but don’t let them know you’re
protecting them. Defer to them in all things, but don’t let them know
you’re deferring to them.
=========================================================================
What have you got?
Authors of Volume 1
One-line
Any
Fantasy
Investigation
Affliction
Any An obscure sect of a dark church is seeking the eight necessary
parts/items used in summoning a sleeping demon. Just so happens that one
of the PCs inherited one of the items (it should be something innocuous
like a simple pendant with inscriptions) from a dead relative.
=========================================================================
Who is Who?
Authors of Volume 1
One-line
Any
Investigation
Intrigue
Any
Doppelganger
Shapechanger The party uncovers a plot to replace high-ranking officials with exact
lookalikes (shapechangers). Nice little conspiracy theory action. Which
one of your trusted patrons is really an evil doppleganger? Who can you
trust? Who will believe you? Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean
someone ISN’T out to get you.
=========================================================================
The Renegade Wizard
Authors of Volume 1
One-line
Fantasy
Quest
Any The party is hired by the local Mage Guild to find and capture (and/or
kill) a renegade wizard who is breaking Guild laws (selling magic items
to criminals, assassinating the previous Guildmaster, attempting to
assassinate the current Guildmaster, etc.). Local law enforcement is not
involved because the Guild likes to solve its problems internally.
=========================================================================
Good Lich vs. Evil Lich
Jeff Vogel
One-line
Fantasy
Investigation
Quest
Urban
Lich There’s a battle going on between a good lich and one or more evil
liches. The players have to protect a town that’s caught in the
crossfire. The lich need not even appear in the campaign; you could just
have dark noxious clouds blotting out the sun, undead armies marching
back and forth, dragons eating the livestock, and other bits of large-
scale magical fallout. Or, if you want to bring the lich in personally,
you could send the party on a quest to plead with the lich to stop the
war, or to fight elsewhere.
=========================================================================
Improvised Defenses
Phil Scadden
P.Scadden@gns.cri.nz

Short
Any
Any
Guarding
Castle
Dungeon
Cave PCs get caught in hole (old castle, cave?) with overwhelming numbers
against them. They have some warning and a time period when they will be
relieved if they can hold on. Idea is that PC improvise with what is
around and hold out for siege. Turns the GMing on its head. They have a
plan of defenses, not the GM, and GM leads his baddies against it.

Players spring their surprises in traps etc. Must have a map agreement on
what can be done in time available. Players tend to cheat outrageously
but great fun for all concerned with a change of pace for both GM and
players. =========================================================================
Collection of VERY short descriptions
Authors of Volume 1
One-line
Any
Any
Urban Here’s a bunch of REAL short descriptions of adventure ideas that work
well in a city:

Second-story jobs, picking a pocket and finding a map, searching the
tunnels under the city for a tomb or catacombs, competing with the
Thieves’ Guild, smuggling arms into the city, spying on foreign
officials, helping an orphan fight against cruel thugs, racing another
party in a city-wide search for a magical artifact, investigating a
corrupt church, wooing a noble lady, searching for your weapons
instructor who has been abducted by a rival, trying to get apprenticed to
a truly weird mage, etc. =========================================================================
The False Good Lich
Jeff Vogel
Short
Fantasy
Investigation
Urban Invert the “bad-lich-turns-out-to-be-good” idea: A really sinister
lich would probably love to have people convinced that he’s just a
kindly, helpful old gent. Suppose one such lich has been working hard on
his image for a century or two…he saves people from natural disasters
(which he created himself), gives out magical gifts (which are cursed in
some nonobvious way), kisses babies, the whole shebang. The players come
to suspect him of actually being evil (“Hey…two centuries old? That’s
before Second Edition came out! He must be evil!”) and have to stop him.
But first, they have to convince the locals, who love the old guy, that
they’ve been wrong about him all this time. (“Gandalf? The old coot with
the fireworks? Evil? Get outta here.”)
=========================================================================
The Absent Minded Wizard
Jeff Vogel
Short
Fantasy
Quest
Any
Lich Go to kill the evil lich, get captured and put at his/its mercy only
to have it ask “Why are you bothering me?” Apparently it was/is a good
wizard who got kind of absent minded as he died and sort of drifted off
into lichdom without noticing. Since he’s quite powerful, none of the
various local monsters that he’s geased into serving him have given him
any trouble, nor have they pointed out the problem of his lichdom…

Play the lich as an absent minded old british gentleman, sort of
surprised that anybody would want to kill him and having considerable
trouble grasping the idea that he’s a lich. A few accidental pats on the
back while the players are held by some sort of spell should be amusing.

P.S. If you can’t figure out how to set things up so a lich can
capture and hold helpless a bunch of PCs, SHAME on you! Liches are
something like 30th level M-U/Clerics, not to mention the hordes of
followers, servants, summoned monsters and demons and elementals and the
like… =========================================================================
Find the Right Man
Authors of Volume 1
Short
Any
Quest
Guarding
Wilderness
Desert A caravan is travelling through the desert. The party is hired to
capture a man who is in the caravan, and it must be done quietly, so that
nobody else knows. They are given the man’s name, and the fact that he
is a mage, but no other information about him. The catch is that the
caravan consists of ten wagons, with at least thirty or forty guards
(when I used this adventure, the caravan was travelling through Brin
Pass, a VERY dangerous area), and everyone’s wearing the standard desert
gear: a white robe, with a hood and a veil. This makes it very difficult
to tell who’s who. The party should investigate the wagons. If they do,
they will find that only one wagon doesn’t have an obvious reason for
existance (i.e. belongs to the caravan master, carries supplies, or
carries cargo). A man is living in that wagon, and only comes out to get
food. Raiding the wagon will obviously cause noise and commotion, two
things to be strenuously avoided. This is a very difficult scenario;
I’ve run it twice, and both times the party failed. Once the guy got
killed and the party was arrested and held in custody by the caravan
master, and once the guy ran away and the party lost him.
=========================================================================
The Insane Dragon
Authors of Volume 1
Short
Fantasy
Quest
Startup
Any
Dragon
REWARD
(very large sum mentioned – for your world)
BRAVE Adventurers Needed!
To Kill the DRAGON of Eastmark, Kingdom of Arcadia.
(fill in location and kingdom name as necessary).
Apply at the Royal Palace.

All that made that adventure interesting (aside from the nearly 1000
mile overland journey, differing cultures, side-adventures, et al) was
the fact that the “DRAGON of Eastmark” was a golden dragon, and the party
was mostly Good characters. The Gold had become insane when humans had
attacked and slain his mate, and spent his time laying waste to the local
kingdom, which finally began posting notes (after the first three
expeditions failed) to hire outsiders to come in and try to destroy the
genius-intelligence, magic-using and physically awe-inspiring dragon.
Since the tattered posting does not mention that the “DRAGON” is a Gold,
the party had already travelled the very long way, and then had a lot of
discussion before finally deciding that grief did not excuse the dragon’s
excesses, and that he must be destroyed. =========================================================================
The Election
Authors of Volume 1
Medium
Any
Intrigue
Urban Most campaigns have a player who loves to play politics, involve her
in this. Assume for the sake of argument that the goal is the office of
district attorney. Enigma has ambitions to be the DA, the chief force for
justice in Gotham. He is opposed by Buck Stevens, son of the founder of
Stevens Brick Co., which is the second largest employer in Gotham. Darla
Stevens is in love with the Enigma’s alter ego, Bing Strawberry, and
keeps telling him he ought to get in politics and make sure her slimy
brother doesn’t achieve political office … etc etc etc you get the
idea.

Some complications that suggest themselves are: a) Enigma discovers that candidates must turn in petitions with 1000
names in order to register for the election, and he blew it off so long
that he needs to get them all *tonight*, to be turned in at 8 am tomorrow
morning (where do you get 1000 valid signatures at this time of the
night?)

b) the primaries are a good time for enemies to show up with
embarassing photos in hand

c) election season can be complicated by reporters who circle,
vulture-like, over the troubled campaign HQ, and by a televised public
debate between the candidates

d) the election and the aftermath — did the PC win? What will happen
to the party now? What if the press finds out about the vampires the
party staked a few years ago in the abandoned buildings in the ghetto?
what about the crook who recognizes Enigma’s voice and threatens to
publicise his secret identity? =========================================================================
The Lich vs. Evil
Jeff Vogel
Medium
Fantasy
Investigation
Urban
Dungeon
Lich The lich is a good wizard who was forced to become a lich in order to
remain around to counteract some powerful evil force. He/it spent the
last years of his life directly restraining some powerful evil demon
(make it something not quite physical, for example a demon of madness
that manifests by making victims psychotically insane…evil human
sacrifice cults start springing up all over the place and random people
on the road start attacking out of the blue with no provocation, sort of
like…gasp! PCs!)

So the Lich is at the bottom of some dungeon complex using spells and
powers that are so far beyond the party’s understanding that they can’t
perceive them, to hold the evil imprisoned. He/it is also keeping random
strangers from wandering in and interfering. After so long a time, the
lich just sort of drifted into undeath without really noticing (keeping a
set of spells up constantly for years will do that to ya). The PCs
manage to get the drop on the Lich when he’s weakened and…

a) the evil gets loose.

b) the good lich’s wizardly spirit manifests before it moves on to
another, higher plane, and commends them for their actions in releasing
him from his unwitting servitude to to undeath. He also says, “Well, I’m
off to my retirement in elysium, the job’s all yours, boys!”

c) If you’re feeling charitable, give the players an inkling of what’s
going to happen, or some magic to help them to combat the madness demon
(personal protection against the madness would be nice, although you
could have lots of fun with blackouts and sleepwalking and the like if
the PCs were as susceptible as anyone else). If you’re not feeling
charitable, have them find out the HARD way what the ol’ spook’s
mysterious comments were in reference to. Maybe stick a scroll (that
must be laboriously deciphered) in with the treasure, describing the
madness demon and perhaps some ways that it can be fought. =========================================================================
The False Vampire
Authors of Volume 1
Medium
Horror
Quest
Investigation
Affliction
Urban
Vampire The party is on some sort of extended vacation, staying in an inn/bar.
A frequent visitor is a tall, dark, suave, charming man dressed in formal
evening wear, accompanied by a different woman every time. He comes in
every 2nd or 3d night. He always orders bloody marys and doesn’t drink
them. He is quite wealthy and very pleasant. There is something almost
magnetic about him. He has fascinating eyes. (DM should do everything
he can to make it believable that he could be a vampire, despite the
unusual setting (city)).

Either he charms (charm gaze) a female party member and takes her
away, or a beautiful dancer comes in looking for her missing sister, who
was last seen coming to this bar with the tall,dark gentleman. She tries
to convince a party member to help her look for her sister being
seductive about it. Both are eventually charmed by the Gentleman. In any
case, make a party member disappear into this Gentleman’s lair.

He has a gothic style house in a nice part of town. There is nothing
obviously amiss here. If the party asks around, this guy is a pillar of
society, a kind, philanthropic fellow, well respected by his peers. He
runs a magic shoppe. He is a mid-level wizard with a head for business,
who gave up adventuring to start a business.

His house looks just like a vampires house might look (black velvet
curtains, etc). He has a private sanctuary inn his basement, the only
entrance to which is a rune-encrusted door (trapped or enchanted in any
way appropriate to the party). He supposedly has a chapel down there,
but really has a large complex, where various vampiric rituals, and all-
night parties take place. All of the missing people have been charmed
into believing that they have been turned into slave vampires. They will
aid their master if at all possible.

The party must break in and forcibly take their companion away from
this place. Again, make the evidence somewhat contradictory whether the
Gentleman is a vampire or not. Most evidence should say yes, but make
some things contradict this.

The gentleman has a cursed ring of the vampire, a powerful evil
artifact which makes him believe he is a vampire and gives him many of
the powers of a vampire, as well as some of the drawbacks. Make him
dislike things that cause a vampire harm, but don’t make it obvious
whether is works. Make him have a reflection, but have a dead vampire
victim show up. Etc. At the end, have the party realize that he is not
a vampire at all but rather is a cursed fellow with an intrinsically good
nature. =========================================================================
The Magic Dwindles
Authors of Volume 1
Medium
Fantasy
Quest
Magic
Any
Dragon The magic energies (derived from outer space :-)) are dwindling,
slowly but surely. At this time only the most advanced magicians have
noticed that their most powerful spells are beginning to fail more and
more frequently.

My explanation is that there is three kinds of magic in the world:

1) White magic: creative magic, healing, alteration. The white-
magicians are generally the good guys, mostly elves, priests (Gods of
Light) and fairies.

2) Black Magic: Necromatics, destructive magic, summoning. The black-
magicians are generally the bad guys, mostly humans, black-elves, trolls
and the demons & devils.

3) The Old Magic: The magic that rules it all; but now almost a
forgotten art, only used by the extinct race of Wizards (yes, wizards are
a distinct race in my world) and the dragons.

Unfortunately the magic energies are only dwindling for the white-
magicians, since the black-magicians derive their power from the negative
dimension and have opened the gate, so that negative energies flow freely
into this dimension blocking the white-magic.

The objective is to close the gate, before even the simplest white-
magic is rendered useless and impotent. This cannot be done with the use
of white-magic, but only with the use of the Old-Magic (use of black-
magic will only worsen the situation).

The problem is to find someone or something that have access to the
Old-Magic and is sufficiently skilled in this art, to reverse the
situation. (this is what the players must think is the objective for them
or initially be let to believe).

The real problem is that the division between black- and white-magic
is artificial, and will always lead to this problem sooner or later, and
only the Old-magic can prevail (since the white- and black-magic is
derived from the Old-magic, but the separation will corrupt both
branches). So the players are to be the prophets of the new world order
of magic (or front-runners), after being taught the basics of this by the
only Wizard left on the planet (unless they destroy him in their
folly!!!). But to find the information that there is such a creature
alive should be very difficult and only referenced by vague hints in old
legends etc.

My suggestion for the Wizard is that the group can find (after lengthy
research) the place he is rumored to live (e.g. inside a volcano). And
when they arrive he is there, but frozen inside a huge iceblock, by a
pair of Ice-Dragons that he once forced to humiliate themselves to assist
him, and this is their revenge. Once every 100 year they let him free
for a day to scorn him, and then deep-freeze him again. And they will
not take it lightly if the players are to take away their sweet revenge.

Long Summaries
—————
=========================================================================
Traders
Phil Scadden
P.Scadden@gns.cri.nz

Long
Any
Any
Guarding
Exploration
Any In my experience, PCs will guard a hundred caravans before it occurs
to them that trading on their own account could be more fun and
lucrative. Part of this is I guess a lack of interest in the “tie-downs”
that trading could imply and in the boring detail of buying and selling.
There are however some good advantages. It encourages a sense of group
identity – all partners of Fast and Risky Quality Merchant Co. – and can
have some great “plot lines”. It also changes the world outlook when
strangers are first thought of as “Hey CUSTOMERS!” rather then “Arm up,
enemy approaching”. If you ever need to lure your players in a
particular direction then a rumour of profit should be easy to manage.

PCs can be tempted into the business a bit at a time. For example: At
conclusion of other business a friendly tribesman notes “Your people make
good iron. If you are back this way, bring us one of your fine steel
blades and I’ll trade two snow leopard skins for it”. $$$$ in characters
eyes! The trick is to avoid the boring bits.

1) Give them good NPC warehouse men etc that they really can trust
except perhaps once, later rather than sooner, for a plot. If they feel
they can safely leave a load in trusted hands for a fling then so much
the better.

2) Have NPC’s offer to retail so they are doing the wholesale transit
stuff and dont get lost in selling detail. “Hey, I’ll take all of this
stuff you can get here at xxxx – leave you free to get another load
moving eh?”. Failing that declare, “after 2 hours you are sold out for
xxxx reward”. Forget detailing trading except for casual encounters with
a train.

3) Forget the unwieldy caravan bit – encourage them into the small
mule train style. They’ll have more fun. “Yup, de mules certainly de
way. You see dat caravan train – takes 2 month to move dat round de Gap.
Sheez dat costs! I ken move dis stuff over Hawk Pass on mules in meebe
tree weeks on a good run.”

4) Emphasize the exploratory opening up of new country rather then the
big-haul routes. If they start into going back and forth on the same
lucrative route too often, send in a big merchant with a massive caravan
to drop the prices. They’ll thank you for it in terms of game interest.

Some typical sorts of plots. -Guarding the goods train. They’ll really do it in earnest.
-Spying on the side under their legit cover.
-Involvement in local politics
-Exploration
-Building of fortified outposts and defense thereof
-Very dangerous goods! (i.e. magic)
-Recovery of stolen goods
-Dealing with a protection racket
-High risk winter route to relieve a starving outpost.

One potential problem is the possibilty of too much coin. Relax.
Early in their career get them used to the idea that high profits come
from real high risks and sometimes its better alive poor then rich and
dead. (“You are surrounded by 20 young mounted warrior louts looking for
trouble. They request ‘presents’ with broad grins. All are bow armed
(and they’ve been training since 3 years old)”. Remember that elaborate
trading has high overheads in paying NPCs etc. If there is somehow got a
money excess then introduce credit offered by bankers – on risky routes
they will sooner or later lose a train bought on borrowed money and the
overheads will put them on the back foot! ========================================================================
The Wizard’s Game
Authors of Volume 1
Long
Fantasy
Exploration
Startup
Dungeon A powerful wizard and his apprentice (also powerful) are after an
artifact which is carefully guarded (by various traps, magics, etc) in a
labyrinth. Put in there years ago by various leaders and since
forgotten. They cannot think of a brute force way to get it, but they
are clever enough to have figured out some loopholes which will allow a
low-level bunch of adventurers with various characteristics (tailor to
your players, one obstacle per player or combination of players) to get
in safely and escape with the artifact.

The wizard cooks up a long term plan (perhaps he is an elf) to obtain
such a party of adventurers. This plan is subtle and tricky as that is
the style of this wizard (he likes to manipulate and deceive people, like
a game). He has his apprentice disguise himself as an old
storyteller/bard who takes a liking to a young pc or npc and tells
stories of the PC/NPC’s grandfather who stopped a great evil by
sacrificing himself, sealing the evil and himself into a labyrinth (yes
THE labyrinth). The grandfather was lost with his family sword and more
importly an amulet which signified the family’s power and destiny as
heroes of the realm. Various stories of the grandfather, sword, and
amulet should convince the PC/NPC to go after this stuff.

The storyteller also tells of the PC/NPC’s family talent for dowsing,
and helps him cut a dowsing rod and casts various covert magics to make
the character believe he has such power. Eventually he replaces the
dowsing rod with an identical duplicate which is set up to find the other
characters who are needed to get the artifact back (yes, the party). The
character recruits or finds the party and they go and get the amulet
back.

The wizard and apprentice appear at the exit from the labyrinth and
reveal the hoax (part of the fun), demanding the amulet. The apprentice
is either given or takes the amulet for the wizard, then gets a greedy
look in his eyes and makes to put it on. The wizard vaporizes the
apprentice and takes the amulet.

You might want to put some sort of treasure in this labyrinth so the
party won’t be too pissed that they have been deceived.
The wizard invites the characters to join in his “games” (see below).

If they decline, he does various things to convince them to comply. If
that fails, he cooks up another complicated deception to get them to join
in. He will not force them to join, unless he feels that he has
sufficiently deceived them.
————————————————————————-
The party is asked to go on a quest by an older man, a merchant, to
save his daughter’s life. She has the dreaded Indigo Flu, usually fatal.
The only known cure is to make a medicine out of the Caiman stone, an odd
fruit that grows out of a mineral/plant hybrid only in the most obscure
places. The party is referred to the sage who told the merchant of this
cure, for more info. The sage is of course an agent of the Wizard of the
previous segment.

He cooks up a quest designed to bring the party eventually to a spot
at which the wizard has planted a “Caiman Bush”. The Caiman stone and
the Indigo flu are complete fiction. The party will not find anybody
else who knows about these even if they ask around. The Caiman Bush is
an elaborate magic item, which will teleport the party into the Wizard’s
lair. The wizard will then inform them that the only exit from his lair
is to win the game.

The game is versus another party which has been in suspended animation
waiting for opponents. (Losers of the game are suspended and continue to
play until they win, whereupon they are released). Make the game
whatever you wish.

You should maybe allow the party to acquire some limited magic items
from the game, so they won’t be quite so pissed to have been manipulated. =========================================================================
Riddle Maps
Phil Scadden
P.Scadden@gns.cri.nz

Long
Any
Any
Any Riddle-maps (idea based on “song-maps” that the old time Maori people
used to describe journeys).

Basically sage-type person translates a song-map that someone earlier
had written down in its original form. Lots of scope for errors. It’s a
translation so no need for poetry. Sage identifies one point in song as
being nearby and wants the map followed. Fit into your world. The
characters can only “see” what you describe so very careful descriptive
work is necessary but red herrings can be fun.

An example of full riddle map.
“here the VALATAS people live above the halls the congress of tide and
land, thence two noon suns cross your face and take you to the silver
path. Up the path you onward go past three cold threads in summer still,
then into the shadows of RAMATIS realm till the path is crossed at the
weeping rock. Shortly the path splits at last, so turn your face and
walk two sunsets till RAMATIS greets with open arms again. The laughing
braid just in the shades, leads high to towers of earth, and there above
the last falling tears, find the gates of night. No moon to light the
halls of night but ochre stars will mark a path to those who walk in
here. Pity you who have no meat to sacrifice to the Old Ones hidden
within. Once met and your offering received dash for life to the halls
of teeth. Beyond there lies the ribbon of red, rushing fast to meet the
sun again, then bounding down past flaxen steps, to greet the ghost in
its bed of gold.”

Translation:
Capitalized bits are phonetic translation of unknown words. The sage
has identified VALATAS so begin here.

The party walks towards the noon sun for 2 days and finds…
GM: “Towards end of second day you climb to top of ridge and look down
on large river valley with the river glistening in the sun.”

Following it upriver past three side-creeks that would wet you even in
summer you get to woods. RAMATIS is the old people’s God of forests but
the PC’s or sage wouldn’t know this. They should easily guess though
when you announce forest in the way. The river hits a gorge and a
crossing is forced where a waterfall comes down a cliff face. After that
the river divides at two big tributaries and you take the west one for
two days. Should encounter woods again…however, the puzzle can be
sharpened by woods that are no longer present (keep talking about NEW
building in the area – ruins of a saw mill ??? etc). A quick flowing
tributary is traced up into the mountains and above the top waterfall is
a cave mouth. A path through the cave is marked by ochre crosses on the
floor but it is also the lair of monster worms that fall on any meat.
The travellers of old would carry a sheep up and run like hell for the
cave of stalagmites (which block the worm) while it is devoured. Hope
the PC have something ready…torch light will shortly show an
underground river flowing the other way (no more ochre) which will lead
to high mountain basin. Geologically an inlier of gold-bearing basement
capped by limestone. Problem – it exits over a sheer bluff and the rope
ladder has long since rotted away. The creek joins a larger creek with
the disconcerting habit of disappearing an hour or two after rain (the
“ghost”) leaving a dry bed. And yes, this is based on real place in NZ.
The creeks are gold-bearing if PC ready to dig for it the hard way.
Remnants of digging all over the show.

You get the general idea. Quite a bit of work and you can lead
characters by the nose through it if so inclined. Mis-translations can
also help. =========================================================================
The Mages’ Contest
Authors of Volume 1
Long
Fantasy
Magic
Dungeon Every ten years, the Mages’ Guild holds a contest. The prize of the
contest should be left fairly vague, unless one of your PC’s is a high-
ranking member of the Guild…I usually use some statement about
“material considerations…well, it’s politics mostly…” However, since
Guild mages tend to be not particularly active types, the contest is
structured as follows: each mage hires a group of adventurers (here’s
where the PC’s come in), who then compete for the prize in a maze set up
and run by the Guild. The party should be hired by a mage, who tells
them basically the information above, plus the number of other groups
competing (I usually use four groups total, since in my maze they tend to
meet up at the end for a final battle, and dealing with more NPC’s than
that would get hellish). The mage gives each PC a magical “token”;
basically just a little one-use magic item. The tokens can have effects
like Levitate (for a duration), Light (ditto), Invisibility (as the
spell); just go through the PH and pick out spells to use. Make up a
maze to put the party though, and don’t forget that several other groups
are doing this at the same time! The way I run it is that I have a map
of a maze, with four relatively distinct paths to a final room. They do
cross over, but not very often. Each has several large empty rooms on
the map, and some marked spots in the corridors. Then I have a list of
rooms to use, and corridor tricks, and I just insert whichever ones I
feel like when they come to a room or a corridor spot. The four groups
race through the maze, and the objective is to find a large flashing gem.
I usually set it up so that when the party reaches the last room (where
the gem is), most of the other groups arrive at the same time. If the
party tries to hang back and let them fight it out, I have some of the
NPC’s start going for the gem. Remember that this was set up by a Mages’
Guild, so you can put in almost anything you want…some examples of
rooms I use are:

1) The room has a chasm cutting it in two. There is another door on
the far side, and a bridge across the chasm. (The chasm is actually an
illusion, but falling in will take the PC out of the contest) On the
bridge, there are two “knights”. These are merely animated suits of
armor, and they have orders to prevent anyone from crossing the chasm.
They will react predictably to actions by the PC’s, and so can be lured
into traps; for example, a thief tries to climb across, one of the
knights moves to block him, the party tosses oil onto the bridge where
the knight would stand, then the thief goes back. The knight walks back
and slips in the oil. Make the bridge very narrow and no handrails.

2) Another room with a chasm, but this one has a maze of invisible
paths crossing it. The party would have to move very slowly, feeling
their way along and probably mapping the maze as well. Therefore, you
put a monster (I usually use a nonafel, or cat-o’-nine-tails, from the
Fiend Folio, or else something called an amorph hopper which I made up)
on the bridges to mess them up. Let the monster leap infallibly from one
spot to another (it knows the maze perfectly), or else let it fly.

3) A circular room with a pillar in the center. As soon as one person
enters the room, tell them that they see the door slam behind them and
the room begins to spin. They are plastered against the outer wall by
the centrifugal force, and are slowly being crushed. Then send them out
of the room, and tell the other players that they see the guy enter the
room, and then throw himself against the outer wall. It’s an illusion,
of course, and the other players can do whatever they want, but whatever
they do, the trapped character will interpret it as something that would
be happening, or else just something weird happens and he can’t figure
out why. For example: they tried slapping the “trapped” character across
the face. He felt the blow, but had no idea where it came from.
However, there’s a catch: the crushing is real. After a little while,
ribs begin cracking…the idea is to try to get the “trapped” character
to disbelieve his surroundings. =========================================================================
Good or Bad?
Authors of Volume 1
Long
Fantasy
Exploration
Investigation
Urban
Dungeon
Lich The PC’s have been meandering around differant continents, and they
wind up at this town. The people of this town are very suppressed, and
do not like strangers. It seems as though the strangers they have dealt
with in the past are pretty dangerous.

There is however a thriving community in this town…centered around a
magic users guild. I admit, a very rare thing indeed.

As the PC’s begin to find out things about this town, they find out
some of the following things:

1) A powerful MU “owns the town” whether by money or power nobody
knows.

2) The town government is set up similar to a company: mayor at the
top, and vice presidents below him each in charge of some community
welfare. This group of people votes on decisions concerning law,
including trials.

3) There are one or two members from “the guild” on the council.

4) Some others of the council are suspected of being influenced to
abstain or cast a certain vote.

5) Every three months people with handicaps, the aged, and the dying
are removed from this town.

6) The town is located at the base of a cliff against the sea. The
only way to the top is a dangerous road with several hairpin turns.

7) Criminals are put to work mining a roadway through the cliff wall
up to the surface above.

8) The rocks from the mining are quarried in blocks and are valued in
some lands for building. The rock is very hard, and has a uniform black
color.

If the party tries to find out what happens to those who get taken
away, they will find they are taken to a dead volcano, with a large
valley inside. This valley does not go through seasons, and the trees
are fruit trees, which always bear fruit. There is a portal into this
valley. The portal of mourning. It opens up every three months on the
soltice dates. Can you guess what time of day? At sunrise. Written on
the archway of the portal is the purpose of the portal, valley, and since
it is old and worn, when the portal was dicovered thirty years ago there
was a loss of translation of the portal of “The Morning.”

There is an evening portal too. But that one is the entrance to an
old abandoned dwarven kingdom. It opens up every night. Each night,
undead skeletons emerge with two tasks. Gather fruit. Look for
newcomers, and “welcome” them to shelter. Skeletons will try to capture
anyone alive with nets.

Inevitably the PC’s will want to go dungeoning and kill off hoards of
skeletons, and free lots of supressed people. Insert your own dungeon in
this part or use a prefab.

Eventually, they will meet the lich in the dungeon. He will ask
several questions about why they killed the skeletons. Now the poor
people will starve… and so on and so forth. It will be increasingly
aware that the lich is a good lich. The lich became a lich to forever
take care of the orchard.

It turns out there is another lich. The Good lich is in fear of the
Bad one, who happens to live in the town… heading the MU guild. The
guild is a structure in which the Lich collects power, items, spells…it
is great if the party has an MU who joined the guild without knowing.
The guild is structured like a membership thing. Access to libraries is
based on level of membership. Level of membership changes based on
donations of magic items, artifacts, spells and of course money.

The possibilities branch out from there… But the deal is to free the
good lich from the wrath of the bad. They could… 1) Infiltrate the guild to a level at which it will topple.
2) Kill the bad lich.
3) Ignore the Deal.
4) Rally the town.
5) Retrieve the good liches talisman from the bad one’s possesion.

Any option is bound to piss someone off. Good or bad lich, or the 40
or so MU’s who have invested their life’s savings into the guild. But
think of all those magic items that must be in there. =========================================================================
The Sage’s Plan
Phil Scadden
P.Scadden@gns.cri.nz

Long
Any
Guarding
Intrigue
Any
Cave Part 1:

Chief honcho feeling old, needs to test suitability of daughter as
heir. A crafty sage NPC called to help.

Sage’s plan: A honcho’s man will pretend to turn traitor and with
PC’s will kidnap daughter. (Big deal – everyone is cooperating). They
will tell daughter she is to write note saying father to come alone with
ransom. He will be bumped off by ambush and they will see daughter
confirmed as heir but she will take orders from rival evil honcho. They
have permission to scare her with anything short of real torture. She
passes test if she refuses to write or finds a way to warn, or manages an
escape. A largish group is hired as daughter normally well protected and
PC will really be acting as a guard and protect her whatever her
choices…Pretty boring easy money for players huh since all set up?

Catch:
The man chosen to play traitor really is a traitor in pay of uncle.
The opportunity to dispose of daughter and become heir is seized. The
traitor will suggest a cave in isolated area (which just happens to be
moderately fortifiable – not by design; he just likes the isolation) as
place for the hold-out and the father (anxious to be fully informed)
agrees. PCs may have a better idea but unlikely they will be in a place
unknown to the traitor or father. Traitor is a coward and won’t attempt
on the life of the girl himself but will use any excuse to leave PCs with
girl. Uncle will bring large force to bear on the PCs to wipe her out.
(and them). Traitor to blame the PCs.

The daughter:
Really a good choice. Will not at first agree but will grovel and
pretend submission. Will write note but encoded to warn. If no other
opportunity has arisen, the traitor will say he will take note. If the
players later tell her its a setup (when trouble begins), she will
demonstrate fine combat skills.

Baddies:
Whatever number to test your PCs. Will (treacherously) offer free
passage if they will hand over girl. (PC’s may think the daughter
worthless and be tempted to hand her over – mine were! If they do, they
will not be allowed to leave alive since they are to be blamed with it.
Dead men tell no tales. Fortunately mine remembered orders to protect no
matter what and girl will reveal the actual contents of her note when she
realises the PC are on her side). The negotiation delay will give some
time for setting up defences if it occurs to players to hedge. Too bad
if they don’t.
If the PCs can hold out 2 days, a concerned father will arrive with
relieving force.
————————————————————————-
Part 2:

[This was an extension as players grumbled about tiny pay (it was
supposed to be an easy job) and here the sage helps.] I made an earlier
post on the net frp conference on moral dilemmas and here is the detail.

In reward for services, a sage offers this little test to a group of
PCs. This is a variation of the famous Prisoner Dilemma based on an
essay by Douglas Hofstadter in Metamagical Themas. This will work best
with a group that are really involved with their characters and have
played them for some time.

Players given a counter which is red on one side, black on the other.
They are to hand it secretly to the sage either red side up or black side
up. They will be rewarded according to how all play.

If a PC returns the piece BLACK side up he/she gets:
For every other player turning in a RED side: A Big reward.
For every other player turning in a BLACK side: Nothing or very small

If a PC returns the piece RED side up he/she gets:
For every other player turning in a RED side: A moderate reward
For every other player turning in a BLACK side: Only a small reward

It is important the player really understand the reward system before
they make the choice. It is also very important that they can’t discuss
with each other what they will do and the returns are made in secret.
When I did it, I had the sage claiming (quite wrongly) he could magically
increase basic attributes and the matrix was:

BLACK choice:
For every RED piece: Attribute of choice increased by one unit.
For every BLACK piece: nothing.

RED choice:
For every RED piece: 50s in money
For every BLACK piece: 5s in money

The advantage of offering an attribute change, is that to the players
(more than the PCs) it was a very real temptation to offer BLACK. Of
course, if they all chose black, nobody would get anything. If only one
chose red, that player would be fairly annoyed while the rest get one
attribute bumped up. If you were the only player to choose black, then
you sit very pretty…the details of this dilemma are well discussed by
Hofstadter. He tried it for real money on his friends, here’s your
chance to do the same. For once, the game is as interesting if the
player is trying to choose for a PC or doing it for him/herself.

Of course, all hell breaks loose when the sage reveals he is lying and
just gives each a little more than if all had chosen red…..

The GM should decide what reward matrix the game balance can handle
and whether the sage is honest, but do recommend the attribute lift as
bait. =========================================================================
Vendetta
Phil Scadden
P.Scadden@gns.cri.nz

Long
Any
Any
Intrigue
Any One obvious device for side-line action is the good old vendetta, or
Even Orcs Have Mothers. Sooner or later, (sooner usually) PC’s will by
their actions have ruined someones plans, killed someone favourite
son/uncle/mother/etc and be due for a spot of revenge. This brings that
most dangerous of monsters up against the PCs – another thinking human.
If the GM looks at the world from the Offended One’s point of view, lots
of ways for to get even should suggest itself but here are few ideas.
Toss them into the game at the same time as other action – the vendetta
may become the main gaming focus but it shouldnt start that way.

The hired thugs:
Predictable, common but not a bad opening shot anyway to start the
players going. Chances are this will tell the Offended One (OO) that it
wasn’t luck and these guys are good, while telling the PCs that life
isn’t that simple.

The Trap:
Can be variation of above but much more creative ways around. How
about a desirable NPC that spends some time winning the PC’s confidence
(helping out on a couple of expeditions say?) before some suitably
creative putting the boot in? (from the unsubtle knife in back through
poison to “inadvertantly” leaving the wrong door open).

Using their greed to send them against a strongly defended position
with a totally false plan about a supposed way in? (This got my players
past thinking of the vendetta as an sideline nuisance. They were mean and
cold and looking for blood when they returned).

Or how about when the player are off to visit an unfamiliar culture,
making sure they get stunningly wrong information on cultural
sensitivities. (I havent play-tested this one, but I imagine could be
very good in a light-hearted game)

My favourite is close to above: On an expedition to tribesmen, a
functionary they hadn’t much noticed offers them an ornate tribe weapon.
He/she tells them this is could be the key to getting close to the chief.
Tell any barbarian that they can talk to, that they got it by
“Melstilatuk” from a barbarian chief. He/she further explains that
melstilatuk (use your own languages) is a ceremonial battle and winning
against a chief accords them high status. In fact the functionary is the
in employ of OO and will quickly vanish. The weapon was obtained from
the father of current chief in a particularly cowardly ambush that the
tribesmen know about. If the PCs are curious about the word, a non-
tribal linguist can only translate it as “raven work”. A tribal linguist
if they even bother to find one, would them that melstilatuk is a
colloquial abusive term for corpse-robbing – regarded VERY badly by
tribesman. The weapon will be instantly recognised by the close
tribesmen to the chief and effect of the characters proudly reciting
their claim can be imagined.

The Frame up:
Often PCs leave themselves very wide open to being framed and dealt to
wrongly by the law. This should make it a good option for the OO. The
trick to playing this so your PCs have a chance is to very thoroughly
think out how the OO sets it up – exactly who is talked to, bribed,
where, who could see it. PC’s will have to pursue what really happened
and they need good detail. I failed at this on first attempt really but
made up for it belately working in a lot of detail.

The lying witness or false complaint: This is the simplist by far if
a bit obvious. Remember that if all or part of the PC party are free to
investigate then the OO is likely to take measures to protect the
implicated. My PCs actually utilised this. They figured the witness
would be guarded so looked out for the guards and followed them (and a
few false trails as well) to locate the OO.

Doubles: Illusion magic to make the others look like the PC in a
witnessed crime? I haven’t actually tried it but sounds good.

Here’s a complex one that the players may tumble at any stage but will
land them in serious trouble if they don’t. Baddie in employ of OO poses
to players as a rich jeweller from within a city. He meets them at a
location outside the city and describes some imaginary double-dealing in
the trade. The upshot is that he thinks a rival has wrinkled him out of
a distinctive ruby necklace. His mission for the PC is to probe or watch
a house in the outskirts to see if any sign. He tells them that the
necklace has a vague enchantment (improve looks, raise charisma that kind
of thing) and could be picked up by detect magic abilities. Small reward
for successful location. Big reward if they can get it. He tells them
he doesn’t want them anywhere near his city shop. They pass a message to
him via person in local pub in writing. It mustn’t mention the goods,
just say party of extra people needed if they can’t get it, else tell him
to come alone to a meeting point if they have managed it all themselves.

The house is the real jeweller’s house and the necklace is not heavily
protected as the rubies are fake (which the jeweller knows) but the magic
isn’t (of which he is unaware). The reward should tempt the PCs to go
for it. They will then send a note to the appropriate place. Make sure
they write down what it says. The note goes of course to the OO who then
murders the real jeweller, places the note on his body, then tips off the
watch on where to find the PCs. Chances are the PCs have written a
highly incriminating note and in addition will be holding property know
to belong to the jeweller.

Final Vendetta notes:
If a prolonged vendetta is plaguing the players then a certain amount
of paranoia is liable to set in. You may be accused of inventing ways
around their precautions because they tell you them in advance. If you
are, I hope they string you. If otherwise, don’t get angry – suggest a
play fair system. They write down their precautions when you warn them
that you need to know. You write down your attack. At the moment of
truth, notes are compared and a very enjoyable game can be held BETWEEN
GM and players. This assumes enough maturity on your players that they
build protection that they reasonably could manage by their skills and
money without going through you. If so have some fun. This play really
only applies to the Hired Thug approach – the others shouldnt really be
open to abuse. =========================================================================
Ashburn Man
David F. Nalle
Long
Horror
Investigation
Building For this adventure a group of younger but promising members of the
Odyssians are invited out for a weekend at the country estate of Sir
Henry Ainsford, one of the older members of the club. Sir Henry is noted
as a hunter and explorer, but he is getting on in years and spends most
of his time at his estate outside of the town of Ashburn in Kent.

Sir Henry regularly invites Odyssians out for weekend visits, but this
particular weekend is special, because he believes he has made a
discovery of great scientific importance on the grounds of his estate.
This means that he will make sure that Odyssians of particular interests
will be in his group. He will invite archaeologists, paleontologists,
physicians, historians and ethnologists in particular, plus an assortment
of others who are interested. He will also invite his two oldest friends
in the Odyssians, Professor Milton Morrisson of the Language and
Ethnology faculty at Oxford and Admiral Sir Joseph Porter (retired). All
he tells anyone in advance is that he has made a discovery which may
revolutionize the history and science of human origins.

—–
Ashburn House

Sir Henry’s ancestral manse is a 16th century monstrosity, somewhere
inbetween a manor house and a castle, ornate and over decorated. It is
located on the edge of the range of hills known as the North Downs. The
trip from London to Ashburn by train takes around two hours. When they
arrive in the town Sir Henry will have several carriages waiting to take
them to Ashburn House.

When they arrive they are greeted by Sir Henry, who excuses himself
and seems rather agitated. They will then get a short tour of the house,
conducted by the major domo, Burton. Burton shows them the gun room and
the trophy room (lions and tigers and bears, oh my!), the game room,
several parlors and dining rooms, and eventually he shows each of them to
their bedrooms. Each of the bedrooms is decorated in a different motif,
reminiscent of different parts of the world. The American Room is
decorated with trophies of caribou, beaver and bears. The East African
room features lions and giraffes. The Egyptian room has crocodile and
rhinoceros hide chair covers and the like. The Indian room has a
beautiful tiger skin rug. The Amazon room has a giant stuffed anaconda
on the wall. The Orient Room has elephant tusks and panda fur rugs.
There are many more along the same lines.

After they’ve settled in, Burton will call them down for dinner. At
the meal Sir Henry seems agitated, smokes a number of cigars, and barely
touches his food. When asked about his discovery he is evasive and tells
everyone to wait until after dinner. Once the meal is concluded, they
retire to the Smoking Room, where a large, coffin-like box, about 2 by 5
feet is waiting on a table in the middle of the room. Cigars are handed
out, and Sir Henry launches into a speech to the effect that he has
travelled far and seen many things, but that he has made his greatest
discovery literally in his own back yard.

He goes on to tell how one of his groundskeepers, a man named James
Dearing, was mowing in a grove of ash trees on a hill behind the house,
when he discovered a series of depressions in the ground, all very
regularly spaced. He reported them to Sir Henry because he was
suspicious that they might be deadfalls set by poachers. Sir Henry
investigated, had one of the holes dug up, and in the hole they found —
at this point he opens the box — a small, manlike skeleton buried in the
fetal position, surrounded by garlands of what appeared to be extremely
well preserved wild flowers. The skeleton he reveals is in rather good
condition, completely bare, about 4 and a half feet tall. What makes it
remarkable is that while generally manlike in appearance, it has an
elongated lower jaw, pronounced cranial ridges and elongated upper and
lower canines, all characteristics of great apes, rather than man.

Everyone crowds around, and Professor Morrison, and possibly others,
declare that it must be a hoax. Someone is clearly trying to put
something over on Sir Henry, taking the jaw of an ape and the body of a
deformed human child and putting them together. But on closer
examination it is clear that the jaw fits perfectly with the rest of the
skull, and the skull clearly fits the spine, and all the bone appears to
be of the same age. Professor Morrison can’t be sure, but given the
style of burial and the condition of the bones he believes that they
predate the early Celtic settlement of the British Isles, and if it is
not a hoax, he theorizes that this might be one of the ‘Dark Folk’, the
aboriginal inhabitants of Britain who were wiped out by the Celts and
survive only in legend.

As Morrison seems to have become convinced, Sir Henry becomes even
more excited, and explains that there are 7 more burial shafts and that
he intends to excavate them all in the next few days with the help of his
fellow Odyssians. That said, he closes up the box, leads everyone out of
the Smoking Room and locks the door. At this point some of the guests
are probably tired and retire, and others go to the game room or to the
Library for some recreation.

—–
Night at Ashburn House

During the night several things will happen. One of the characters
with a relatively high PSI will happen to peer out of his window late at
night. Off in the distance he will see a round hill with a grove of grey
ash on the top of it. The ash are swaying in the wind. Then he notices
that none of the other trees in the garden or beyond seem to be swaying
at all, and he gets the feeling that there’s something almost conscious
about the movements of the ash.

Another character will have a dream during the night. He will dream
of a procession of thin, regal looking women bearing glowing spheres of
light passing through his room, passing through the door as if it or they
were immaterial, and moving on into the hallway.

—–
In the Morning

When they awaken in the morning they notice that Professor Morrison
doesn’t join them for breakfast. Then Sir Joseph mentions that he was up
late with Morrison drinking brandy in the library and that when he went
to bed at 2am Morrison was still there reading. He suggests that
Morrison might want to sleep late. Sir Henry is a bit non-plussed by
this, but is ready to set out to the wilds of the backyard anyway.

Burton brings picks, rubbers and shovels after breakfast and everyone
heads out to the burial site. It is a small clearing in the middle of an
ash grove on top of a hill. The ashes are of a miniature variety, but
healthy and well established, clearly well cared for. In the middle of
the clearing is a 6 foot high, very worn menhir surrounded (after some
searching) by eight depressions in the ground, spaced evenly in a circle,
one of them recently filled in. The digging commences.

In each of the burial shafts they will find a skeleton similar to the
one already found by Sir Henry. It is unlikely that anyone will dig in
the shaft which the first skeleton was taken from, but if they do, they
will find the mangled body of Professor Morrison there.

It will take most of the day to dig out the shafts. And at noon or so
Burton will bring out tables and campaign chairs for a leisurely lunch at
graveside.

Professor Morrison never joins them, and as they prepare to head back
to the house, Sir Henry tells Burton to make sure the Professor is
feeling well and have him meet them in the Smoking Room.

When the grisly trophies are gathered in the Smoking Room, Burton
arrives with the announcement that Professor Morrison is missing, and not
only that, but it is clear that he didn’t pack up and leave, because his
clothes are still there and his bed has not been slept in.

The last place the Professor was seen was in the Library, and a close
inspection of the Library will reveal an open copy of Tacitus on the
floor, some dots of blood around it, and the fact that the tiger skin rug
which is normally there is missing.

—–
What’s Going On?

The grove of ash trees is an ancient holy place. Each of the eight
largest ash trees contains a powerful guardian spirit which can manifest
as a young woman (as in the dream above) or can possess and animate non-
living flesh (tiger skin rugs, etc). These Ash Maidens will attempt to
get the skeletons back, or replace them with new sacrifices, like
Professor Morrison.

If they go and dig out the original burial shaft, they will find
Professor Morrison’s body, mauled as if by a tiger, wrapped in the tiger
skin rug from the Library, and garlanded with wild flowers. It may take
them a while to figure out to do this, so let them stew and be mystified.

The spirits can only be placated by returning all the skeletons and
maintaining absolute silence about their existence. In fact, if they go
to re-bury the skeletons they will find that there are now ten holes
instead of eight, eight for the skeletons, one for Professor Morrison and
one for Sir Henry. The spirits will do all they can to make sure that
hole is filled.

The powers of the spirits are limited. They can only operate in
darkness. They cannot travel more than a mile from the grove. Each
spirit can only animate one thing per night. Passing through solid
objects is relatively strenuous for them, so they do it as little as
possible.

—–
The Second Night

Most likely, by the second night they will either be working on or not
have solved the mystery. That night as they sleep, several things may
happen.

Most likely one or more of the characters will be awakened by the
sound of pounding and rending as an assortment of elk and gorillas and
the like attempt to break into the Smoking Room.

Someone, or maybe even two of the characters, will find that the
stuffed anaconda or bearskin rug or boarskin bedspread will come to life
as they are drifting off to sleep and attempt to attack them and drag
them out to the grove.

The same character who saw the ash swaying the night before will look
out the window at midnight and think that he sees the ash transformed to
women who then move in a procession towards the house.

Someone who is relatively susceptible to such things will be visited
by two of the Ash Maidens who will attempt to seduce him, take him to the
grove, manipulate his mind and will, essentially enslave him, and then
send him back to the house to get the skeletons and Sir Henry for them.

—–
Can they Save Sir Henry?

Most likely not. The only way to save Sir Henry would be to keep the
Ash Maidens and their animated creatures away from him throughout the
second night and then get him away from Ashburn House immediately in the
morning, never to return. In fact, in that situation the house would
have to be permanently abandonned because the Ash Maidens would keep
looking for sacrifices.

Alternatively, they could burn down the grove. This would be sick,
cruel and immoral, but would get rid of the Ash Maidens until saplings
which escaped the burning grew to maturity in several years, at which
point the problem would reemerge.

Finally, they could offer someone else in sacrifice, but finding a
willing victim is unlikely, and giving an unwilling sacrifice would be
inappropriate.

Regardless of how they deal with the situation they will face moral
dilemmas which will not be easily resolved, because the Ash Maidens
should really be preserved as an invaluable paranormal resource, and
though their demands of sacrifice are justified by their lights, it will
be hard for reasonable people to go along with them. =========================================================================

Contributors

————-

Joe Amato
Paul Brinkley (Don't look now, but you did give a summary or two...)
Richard L. Butler (The amazing forgotten man...)
J. D. Frazer
Evan A.C. Hunt
Gwen Johnson (The only contributor with references)
Kim Chr. Madsen
Loren J. Miller
David F. Nalle (Do you do Call of Cthulu? :-))
Chris Racicot (LOTS of good stuff, thanks)
Phil Scadden (Again, and again, and...thanks a lot!)
Aaron Sher (Couldn't let this go by without adding something myself...)
Brett Slocum (A late addition to the credits)
Jeff Vogel (Originator of the lich theme, author of most of the lich stuff)
"Sam" (Who is this?)

Plus several others…if you contributed, and you’re not listed, send
me your name!

—————————————————————————-

Phil Scadden, Scadden Research
55 Buick St, Petone, Lower Hutt
New Zealand
ph (04) 568-7190, fax (04) 569 5016

The Net Book of Plots – Volume 2

———-==========

The NET.PLOTS.BOOK

==========———-
Volume II
Compiled by Aaron Sher

Short Summaries
—————-
=========================================================================
The Witch’s Love
Authors of Volume 2

One-line
Fantasy
Any
Any One of the PC’s falls in love with a woman who happens to be a
witch…perhaps she is allied with a group working against the PCs?
=========================================================================
Protect the Ambassador
Authors of Volume 2

One-line
Any
Guarding
Any The PCs are sent with an ambassador to another country to protect him
and do his bidding. There may be some espionage, rescuing, downright
bullying, etc. Could make a nice medieval special operations background.
=========================================================================
The Robbed Mages
Authors of Volume 2

One-line
Fantasy
Investigation
Quest
Magic
Any After a rash of thefts from wizards in the Guild, the PCs are hired to
catch the perpetrators. They could be other mages, three dozen halfling
thieves, demons, or even time travelers. PCs need to figure out who
might get hit next, how to catch the criminals, who are they, etc.
=========================================================================
Slavery
Authors of Volume 2

One-line
Any
Affliction
Ship After a fight where all the PC’s seemingly died or are captured, they
wake up to the crack of a whip, as they have been sold into slavery
onboard a galley. They have no equipment, they have to work to
exhaustion, they get very little food, but if they play well, they might
be able to escape.
=========================================================================
The Queen’s Beau
Authors of Volume 2

One-line
Any
Investigation
Urban The Queen’s beau (a very handsome knight-errant or something) is
missing and he was last seen in a tavern at the edge of town. The PC’s
are the people who were determined to have useful information, after a
lengthy interview/screening by the Queen’s Marshall-General, etc. They
set out to find him, since it is thought he is in grave danger.
=========================================================================
What happened?
Authors of Volume 2

One-line
Any
Affliction
Startup
Any The party wakes up around a table with wine goblets near at hand.
They discover that they have forgotten everything they did over the past
two weeks. Apparently, as they uncover clues, they were hired by someone
to do a job, and when the job was finished the person invited them to
dinner. Interesting events abound as the party attempts to piece
together the events of the last fortnight…
=========================================================================
The Gauntlet of Grummsh
Authors of Volume 2

One-line
Fantasy
Quest
Affliction
Any Bonecrusher (an Orc, now a Giant Orc Chieftain) has found the Gauntlet
of Grummsh (an orcish Artifact) and is kicking some serious butt, raising
an orc army and is about to invade the country to, er, root, pape, and
lillage the area (he’s powerful, but he’s still an orc.) Of course, the
destruction of this gauntlet is very important to the players.
Bonecrusher could be considered the Guardian of the Gauntlet, and
destroying it *will* bring curses from Grummsh onto the party.
=========================================================================
The Dragon and the Gate
Authors of Volume 2

One-line
Fantasy
Quest
Urban
Dragon Four dragons (one blue and three greens) have banded together to
increase their wealth. They (gasp) spent it on various magical weapons
and defences and then attacked and took over a port city. Now they’ve
removed all laws, taxing everything. All the good folk have escaped, and
some are running a resistance force. Of course, there’s a catch.
The blue dragon’s been possessed by a lower planar being, and is opening
a gate…
=========================================================================
The Lost Drow
Authors of Volume 2

One-line
Fantasy
Startup
Any A young drow got ‘left behind’ after a raid to the surface. He is a
mid-level fighter, slightly lower-level magic user. Maybe give him a few
pet large spiders for some extra challenge. He could take over a farm
house (or two) with charm spells (maybe even charm a few of the animals).
He could try and trick the party into finding the entrance to the drow
realm for him (or maybe kill some inconvenient big thing). Anyway, as
there’s only one drow, a party of four or five lower level characters
wouldn’t really be in too great a danger.
==========================================================================
The White Stone
Authors of Volume 2

Short
Fantasy
Affliction
Magic
Cave
Dragon In a cave, in an incredibly cold pool of water, is a large round white
stone (about 3 or 4 feet in diameter). It feels to all the world like
marble, and radiates magic.

It’s actually a white dragon egg. It stays in stasis, just hours from
hatching, until it’s heated up… to just about room temperature. Then
it hatches. If your players are like mine, they’ll take a big white
magic rock without thinking twice; it should then hatch at exactly the
worst time. My players made it all the way back to their ship, and put
it in the hold, before it hatched. Great fun. =========================================================================
The Ship of Fools
Authors of Volume 2

Short
Any
Startup
Affliction
Ship One of the things I do for comic relief is have the PCs run across a
particular ship full of really stupid sailors.

They are almost always in dire trouble when the PCs come across them,
like the one time they were out in the middle of the ocean and their
sails were on fire. The PCs had to put the fire out for them, because
they didn’t think of using sea water to put it out themselves.

The name of the ship is the _Storm_, and the captain (“pilot”) looks
and sounds an awful lot like Robert Plant.

It shouldn’t take too much prodding before the PC’s start calling it
the “Ship of Fools”…. =========================================================================
Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
Authors of Volume 2

Short
Fantasy
Quest
Investigation
Urban
Demon A demon (e.g. Cambion demon) has taken the shape of a respected member
of the community (using polymorph self) and, masking his true alignment,
shape and abilities, is slowly spreading death and terror in the city.

The PC’s are hired (as special agents by ??) to find the perpetrator and
capture/kill them before it gets even more out of control. The demon is
able to change shape easily and hence occasionally changes to take the
form of one of its victims to throw off the scent. Its sole purpose is
to cause disruption and Chaos (or was it brought here by someone for
other reasons and escaped or was turned loose ?). =========================================================================
Curse of the Incontinent Dragon
Authors of Volume 2

Short
Fantasy
Quest
Investigation
Urban
Dragon The party ventures into a small town after their latest expedition,
only to find that the towsfolk are in an uproar. The mayor tells the
party about the “cursed beast of darkness” which rises from its burrows
to the north and flies over the hapless village dropping flaming missles
from his bowels. As the players pass by the mayor’s house, they note the
gruesome stench. Gobs of acid-spitting larvae still snake through the
burnt ruins. To make a long story short, the witch of the wyrmwoods
which surround the village has cast a curse upon the foul dragon who used
to be a nature loving and solitary beast. Now, in his incontinence, he
regards the town as his private toilet. Furthermore, the curse has also
reduced his intelligence by, oh say, 15 points perhaps. “Aww… duh…
you mean you know ahh… I wasn’ a ‘spose to poop der… dahhhh!”
=========================================================================
The Dragon’s Forest
Authors of Volume 2

Short
Fantasy
Exploration
Investigation
Urban
Village
Wilderness
Forest
Dragon There’s a logging town nearby that, all of a sudden, starts spending
money like there’s no tomorrow. They go from a little frontier town to a
place like in a matter of
months. The players should be “just passing through”, and notice this
large change. They pass a bard that tells of the eighth murder in the
town in a month.

What’s really going on is that someone with tons of money is having
the loggers clear-cut the forest the logging town is near.

Unfortunately, the forest has a guardian (a dragon) that is a bit
fanatical and unscrupulous in his guardianship; to scare the loggers into
ceasing from clear-cutting the forest, he hires some assassin/terrorists
to kill random loggers in the city. The players’ mission, should they
choose to accept it, is to stop this situation from escalating any
further. =========================================================================
The False Dragon
Authors of Volume 2

Short
Fantasy
Quest
Any
Arctic
Dragon This adventure is best for a party of low-level fantasy characters.

A mage has managed to control an Ice Lizard (a la Fiend Folio), and
uses it to his own ends. In my case, kidnapping a sage. The trick: it
can appear to be a white dragon. Thus, the adventure seems very scary
indeed from the all the dragon rumours surrounding the kidnapping, but
Ice Lizards aren’t even pale shadows of real dragons. So, it’s exciting,
but manageable for low power parties.

Eventually, the party may figure out that it’s not a real dragon and
gain confidence to attack it (if they were too cautious). The final
showdown is between the party, and the low level mage and his pet. For
extra excitement, add a few minions, some traps in the lair, etc.

Naturally, the lure doesn’t have to be a kidnapped sage, it could be
rumours of dragon raids, a fair maiden kidnapping, or whatever you
please. =========================================================================
The Book
Authors of Volume 2

Short
Any
Exploration
Any The party finds a book, a second copy of a book they have or have seen
before, or can look at. On reading and/or close examination they find
that the new copy has an extra passage/paragraph detailing where the
famous hero/ine was buried/trapped. The book could be a history of the
land, a tale of brave deeds etc. No other copies of the book have this
passage, wise persons who are familiar witht the work can’t recall the
passage in anything they’ve read (but maybe someone will partially
confirm the rumor…).

Once they get there there are a few options (in order of time
consumption increasing concerning the book): -The place exists but is uninteresting
-The place doesn’t exist (could take the party a long time to believe you)
-The place exists, but people tell the party it doesn’t
-The place doesn’t exist, but people say it does
-The place exists but it’s somewhere else
-The place exists, but it’s a trap by the scribes who confirmed its
existence for you.
=========================================================================
Double Conspiracy
Authors of Volume 2

Short
Fantasy
Quest
Investigation
Urban
Dungeon
Doppelganger The party is hired to transport scrolls to a temple in the hills, far
from their hometown. They arrive in town, and discover that some
townsfolk have disappeared. They meet the high priest, deliver the
goods, and are prepared to leave, when they find the body of the high
priest somewhere in town.

It seems a small band of doppelgangers have uncovered a lead to a
magic item/relic that is buried beneath the tombs under the temple. The
scrolls provide information of some sort the doppelgangers need to get to
the item. The missing people are being used as slaves to dig beneath the
tombs (which of course are full of nasties).

The final scene should be between the head doppelganger and his
cronies just as the item is unearthed.

I’ve kept the details out of the description, because a lot of the
stuff (like what’s in the scroll) can be campaign-dependent. But if the
players are perceptive/paranoid, they might blow this into a full-blown
campaign: Did their employer know the high priest was a doppelganger?
Is there a conspiracy to get doppelgangers into power in the human world? =========================================================================
Meet Your Enemies
Authors of Volume 2

Short
Any
Any
Urban
City In a big classy town that the PC’s have reason to go to every once in
a while (I have it set in a city near a paladin training center) is an
even classier restaurant called Chez Ralph. It’s about as nice a
restaurant as you could possibly have. Waiters check on you every minute
or so, there’s a string quartet playing in the background, and glasses of
water (“Mineral water, imported from halfway around the world” is what
they tell you, and they’re telling the truth) cost around 20 gp.

Besides being a wonderful place to have players dump some cash, it’s
also Soap Opera City. The bizarrest people show up there, at the same
time the PCs are there – but since nobody wants to make a scene, the
whole feeling is very tense. Old girlfriends, major enemies, spies,
polymorphed dragons, you name it, end up eating there – and usually with
each other.

This requires a lot of continuity in the game. Most games couldn’t
support the type of background and tension Chez Ralph requires. You need
long-term NPCs that the PCs have come to hate – and put them here, where
you just can’t DO anything about them! =========================================================================
Tower Snatch
Authors of Volume 2

Short
Fantasy
Quest
Exploration
Castle A mage returns home after 1 year away and finds that someone has taken
over his tower in the city. He wants it back and hires the PCs to
reclaim it. He can supply maps etc of what it was like when he owned it
(but someone may have moved “Walls of Stone” and placed whole new trap
areas etc). The PC’s can keep anything in the tower which is not
specifically his (of course he can claim anything interesting and they
won’t know) and a cash reward. No-one knows who has it but he suspects
someone respected in the community, hence the attack must be done fairly
quietly so as not to warn the current possessor (the mage can prove that
he is the owner however, he is not setting them up – unless you want this
to happen). The tower is appropriately trapped and guarded, mostly with
the expectation of killing the mage who owns it when he tries to return.
The guards and traps are there to kill (not capture) anyone breaking in.
City guards etc will not take sides unless the conflict ends up outside
the tower.
=========================================================================
Faction War
Authors of Volume 2

Short
Any
Startup
Intrigue
Urban
City This is a non-linear adventure, good as a sideline for whenever the
PC’s happen to be home.

The PC’s are based in a large city. The city is basically composed of
three sectors. Two of which are virtually lawless and the other is
extremely well controlled. The law portion is extending outward and
slowly taking over the other two sections.

A faction war is taking place in the city. There are two opposing
forces at war with each other (it could be a peasant/slave revolt, or a
religious purge, or a supernatural invasion, or whatever.)

The war expands steadily, more and more groups getting dragged into it
and being forced to choose sides. An interesting twist would be for 2
groups that 2 different PC’s belong be on different sides. Great chance
for roleplaying here!

The war could develop while the PCs are away, and upon return they get
the opportunity to jump in.

Think of it, the politics! The adventure! The intrigue! The danger!
The chance to be hunted by one of the most powerful groups in the
city/county/country/kingdom! =========================================================================
A Portal to Gamma World
Authors of Volume 2

Short
Fantasy
Sci-Fi
Quest
Exploration
Any An item has been stolen from a temple/mage/lord etc, the thieves
trailed to a portal leading to an unknown plane/realm. The PC’s are
hired to follow and retrieve the item and/or scout the realm. The realm
escaped to is from the Gamma World game. Several thousand years after an
atomic war, patches of technology still exist. Most survivors are animal
and/or human mutants and have a mix of equipment. Laser pistols, bow and
arrows, smart missiles, swords, armalite rifles, battle axes, war robots
etc. Survivors are TOUGH and many have physical and/or mental mutations,
as the weak ones have already died out. Several technological
installations still exist, guarded by robots etc. PCs must trace the item,
find the current owners, retrieve the item and return before radiation
traces in the atmosphere slowly kill them. (Optionally, the portal is
now set so that it can only be used by someone carrying the stolen item,
hence stopping the PC’s escaping or more raiders coming through).
Equipment bought back may or may not work. PCs with laser pistols,
rocket launchers and mini-tanks are worrying in fantasy worlds.
=========================================================================
Have Fun
Authors of Volume 2

Short
Paranoia
Investigation
Urban
City A Death Leopard Head Honcho decides to run a scam on the First Church
of Christ Computer Programmer. Her theology is fairly limited: “Jesus H.
Christ” stands for J. HARLEY C., and Harley is the 3rd person in the
Trinity. Jesus said “Have Fun!”, and Harley shows us HOW to have fun.
As the prophet of the Lord, she begins convincing lower Church members of
the truth (her Death Leopard handle is Son of David, which she changes to
Son-U-David for missionary purposes, and which also allows a handy link
to Harley). The main mission consists of forming a rock group where she
and her lieutenants take on yet more persona as ELL’s Angels (Gabr-I-ELL,
Raph-I-ELL, Mike-I-ELL and Ur-I-ELL) and give impromtu concerts to the
Infrareds, inciting all 30 000 of them in the sector to “Have Fun!” She
proposes a link between the Church and Death Leopard, which shall be
called the First Church of Harley Games Progammer. It is a vital, yet
little understood (especially by her) part of her thelogy that Jeremiah
was a bullfrog.

Troubleshooters should be inserted, perhaps as agents for the high
Church officals in Internal Security, who may or may not have varying
degrees of certainty on how heretical all this is. Of course, if the
Troublesootters are IntSec, they have a good chance of being Church
themselves, and may get caught up in the low clearance revivalist
atmosphere… =========================================================================
Give it back!
Authors of Volume 2

Short
Fantasy
Affliction
Any The party has just cleaned out some ex-mage’s compound. In the
scenario I was working with, the party had found a virgin ring of spell-
storing and some matched jewelry, but just about any similar high-power
magic would be useful as a set-up.

The party is resting from their endeavors when a well-dressed person
comes to find them at their current quarters. He is an emissary from a
high-level noble of a nearby country. He asks if the party is the one
that cleared out the mage’s quarters. If the party denies it, he
produces proof. After the identification, the emissary asks if they have
the magic item. He explains that the item belongs to his master, it was
commissioned and paid for. He demands the item and offers little or no
(DM’s choice as necessary to provoke the party) reward. When the party
refuses the emissary explains that by the laws of the country he comes
from the item belongs to his master and they must return it to him.

If the party still refuses, the emmisary declares them outlaw
(something most countries ignore) from his country.

Whenever life is getting boring after that, send an assassin or two or
maybe thieves to steal the desired item after the party. If the party
tries to go after the noble they will have the difficulty of manuvering
in a country where they are outlaws. The whole setup provides a good
hook for several other plots and can be used to cause havok wherever the
PC’s go. =========================================================================
Stalemate
Authors of Volume 2

Short
Fantasy
Quest
Exploration
Urban The group has come to a city of which half has been taken over by
orcs. The humans still control the other half. This stalemate has
lasted for approximately 2 weeks with occasional border penetrations by
each side into the opposing half (guerilla raids, party loves ’em,
2sp/head!).

But things have changed for the better/worse. An army from the north,
in an attempt to make good on the city/kingdom’s problems, has sailed
into town. They wiped out the mercenaries guild (the only opposing
force) and stated that all people were now citizens of the new empire and
they would be rid of the orc menace within two weeks. Everyone has been
drafted into the militia. What is really bizarre about the army is that
it consists of all sorts of races (human, elf, 1/2 elf, etc), all speak a
common tongue, they are VERY well organized yet are individuals.
(Everyone has personal weapons, armor, etc.)

The party can decide what to do. They may not like the idea of being
drafted into the militia to be used as fodder (for an empire they don’t
belong to) to rid the town (that they are only visiting) of the menace.
However, it WILL provide for some good roleplaying trying to explain to
the new invaders why the group should (or rather wants) to remain
together.

The plus is that after the orcs are gone, the militia wil be disbanded
(or so the invaders say) and the members will be free to go on their way
as citizens of the new empire (more lands to visit). The other bonus is
that the party may be able to get ahold of a little of the recaptured
territory. =========================================================================
Acquainted With the Night
Authors of Volume 2

Short
Fantasy
Investigation
Startup
Any
Vampire A group of players *start* by discovering that one of their friends
has been bitten by a vampire. They follow through the entire process,
possibly killing their friend once he/she has risen again, probably
hunting down the vampire that bit their friend. Happy ending.

Then the vampire community seeks retribution. Yes, it was clumsy of
the vampire to get caught, but it’s not the place of the herd to exact
justice on the vampires. The complexity of this scenario depends upon
how you imagine the entire supernatural community.

One possible idea is that vampires — the cool manipulative Undead —
just don’t exist. Vampires are mindless creatures which reek of clotted
blood and which fixate on their families because those are the strongest
memories left. A vampire is what happens to someone who dies of a ghoul-
bite. (Doesn’t happen often because ghouls don’t usually bite live
people. NOTE: these are obviously not _Vampire: The Masquerade_
ghouls.) The image of the vampire is the result of a plot between the
ghouls and the werewolves: they wanted a patently false supernatural
image that would distract attention from themselves. In this case, the
PCs are under attack because they have a sample vampire to look at and
modern science may discover the connection.

If you’re running _Vampire: The Masquerade_, then the PCs are
initiated by a Sire for their own protection. The Sire has some long-
standing grievance against the Sire of the clumsy vampire, or has some
ideological conflict with those who would kill the PCs. =========================================================================
Dandelion Party
Authors of Volume 2

Short
Sci-Fi
Quest
Any North America is balkanized, split into twelve smaller countries, most
of which call themselves the United States of America (except for two
which call themselves Canada and one Quebec). Teleporting aliens (the
Dandelions) have discovered Earth, which means that the other races of
the interstellar Confederation have found us.

All trade agreements are tentative and depend upon Earth’s acceptance
into the Confederation. We are engaging in an exchange of art objects
(yeah, I know I stole this from _Doorways In The Sand_), and Earth seems
to have lost one of the alien artifacts. [When I ran this, it was a
“pure” AI they lost; a wirehead had accidentally jacked it into the world
network. Choice of artifact depends upon how the artifact was lost (by
accident or not) and who is after it.]

Each country wants to be the one to find it. [Country of choice],
which had the artifact when it disappeared, doesn’t want the news to get
out, though all the security services know about it. A subgroup of
carnivorous aliens don’t want the humans to find it.

Alien motivation: Humans may make amusing game or food animals, but
it’s not practical to ship them across interstellar space. However, if
humans fail to make it into the Confederation, the aliens can bid on
copyright to human DNA, producing clones for whatever purposes they want.
[Intelligent species own their own copyrights.] Aliens may also have
internecine struggles.

The characters could be innocent bystanders, diplomats, detectives,
police officers, spies for the L-5 colonies, ninjas, yakuza… =========================================================================
Not All Be Changed
Authors of Volume 2

Short
Any
Quest
Any Superheroes seem to form their own communities, their own strata in
society. Given that some of these people have the power of a nuclear
bomb, it’s understandable that certain espionage, police, and security
agencies would want a mole in the superhero community.

The easiest types of supers for a non-super agent type to simulate are
martial artist-gadgeteers and armoured-suit guys. (Actually, the agency
may not have the budget for a *really good* armoured suit; I ran it with
a martial-artist gadgeteer as the mole.) And having a secret ID is a
good excuse for wandering off at odd times (and making reports to
superiors).

The problem begins when the mole goes native. He forgets about making
reports, he forgets about his loyalties, he’s just caught up in the
entire experience of being one of the Good Guys and thumping the Mauve
Marauder. He ignores a recall order, so the Agency sends people in to
collect him.

The PC’s can be the agents sent to collect the mole, or they can be
other supers, who are helping to defend the mole without knowing quite
what’s going on.

If you need to make things more confusing, there’s the fact that he’s
been recalled because his ID has become known to *other* Agencies, and
they want to capture him (in the guise of a supervillain, perhaps) and
wring his brains about that little escapade in Bangkok four years ago, or
the defection of Gyorgi Dimitrov, or whatever suits your political
inclinations. =========================================================================
The Elven Relative
Authors of Volume 2

Short
Fantasy
Quest
Any For a mostly non-human party:

The party is approached by an elf. He explains the following
situation:

His nephew (niece, whatever) was visiting some relatives a ways away,
and during the travel home was “invited” to stay with a human lord. The
lord sent a message that he wanted to arrange a “lease” of some territory
for his brother to hold for (say) 30 years or so. The elves are very
aware that such “leases” nearly always end up being permanent. They wish
to secure the return of their relative, without allowing the lease. By
their standards the health of their relative is more important than the
relatively small lease, but they cannot act directly as the lord is on
the other side of a neighboring humano-centric country. An elven force
large enough to take the relative back would have to fight its way there
and break long-standing peace treaties and probably start a war. So they
want someone to act in stealth for them, they cannot provide any security
outside their own country. The party’s job, should they accept it, is to
find the relative, break it free and return to the elven territory…
without causing an inter-racial incident in the process.

The lord’s holding should be strong enough that a direct attack by the
PC’s is suicide. Be prepared to have the party try several different
methods.

Some twists possible: The elf is a mage, but has lost/used up all his
spells and the lord has his spell-book hidden. The elf is drugged and
won’t cooperate. The elf is forced by a magical curse to stay near the
lord’s castle. A member of the elf’s retinue is a traitor and tries to
interfere with the party in non-obvious ways….. (traitor is a
polymorphed human?) =========================================================================
Make Judgement by Their Rules
Authors of Volume 2

Short
Sci-Fi
Investigation
Ship A starship receives a distress signal from a cold-sleep colony ship
launched X years before, to an unexplored section of space. When they
arrive, they discover that the entire colony ship is under the death
sentence (or has already been killed) because a native killed one of the
colony ship’s scouts. The reason was that the scout violated . You may up the stakes by leaving the entire
colony ship, still in cold sleep, in orbit, and the captain apparently
committed suicide. The scenario is a mystery: why do *we* get punished
for *them* killing us? *Why* did they kill us?

The crew of the starship is soon under the same death penalty.
Evidence shows that the scout had a slight xenophobia–(“Well within
bounds, though–he was a scout, after all.”) The aliens happen to be
horned hominids, vaguely Satanic looking. Further examination shows that
the scout also had a strongly religious background.

Eventually, peculiarities in the alien culture are explained when it’s
discovered that they are telepathic in some ways, and that is
*Privacy*. Or maybe *Aggravated Mental Assault*. The scout didn’t have
the decency to keep his/her emotions under control, the alien picked them
up and broadcast them back, and *voila* positive feedback cycle wherein
the alien was tougher than the human, and won the fight.

This scenario depends upon a universe where telepathy is not
impossible but is also not present among any of the players and probably
not common or reliable in player space. I’ve never run it because I
haven’t had any brilliant thoughts about a society created by
graminivorous telepaths. =========================================================================
Sword Of Kadorn
Authors of Volume 2

Short
Fantasy
Startup
Quest
Any An introductory fantasy adventure. Players are a group of village
adolescents who have discovered a Sword of Power. The local lord
responsibly decides that it should be sent to the capital, where they
have mages who would understand such a thing, and since the PC’s are not
needed between spring shearing and harvest, the lord sends them with an
advisor (village hedge-wizard, old man-at-arms, family retainer,
whatever). The sword has chosen one of the PCs as its carrier.

Beyond the simple journey to the capital is the fact that the sword
has its own agenda. Possibilities include: -The sword was created to kill a particular ethnic group in a war;
that ethnic group subsequently won the war, and it turns out that all
the PC’s but the chosen carrier are descended in some way from that
ethnic group. Over the course of the journey, that PC argues with the
sword over whether or not the other PC’s should be killed. (PC: “It
will be rather a long fight if I have to kill everyone in the
province” SWORD: “But the glorious fight will at last be won!”)

-The sword is a Lawful Good sword created a millennium ago, when
morals were considerably different. *It* wants to encourage the kind
of behaviour that it believes is good, probably rough eye-for-an-eye
justice that is frowned upon in most civilized societies.

-The sword is a weapon to be used in an upcoming Apocalyptic War
between Good and Evil ™ and is searching for the best Hero ™
for the war. In this case, the PC’s are simply a vehicle for it to
get to the capital. It may have magical abilities that keep the PC’s
alive during the early parts of the journey, but after it leaves
them, they must learn to live without it. =========================================================================
Accused
Authors of Volume 2

Medium
Any
Affliction
Investigation
Urban (This is an entire campaign, and begins with 1st level chars that have
never met each other.)

Each PC is doing normal, everyday things (sword practice, study,
drinking, etc) when he is arrested by the city police (knocked unconcious
if they do not go peacefully). The PC’s all end up in the same jail
cell. The next day, they are brought to trial for the murder of some
important official. They are convicted and sentenced to burn tomorrow.
They are returned to their cell (stripped of all equipment) to await
their execution.

The PC’s have at least two escape paths: (more, if they’re creative) 1) If they carefully search the cell, they can find a loose stone
under a cot (everyone gets a ‘concealed doors’ roll) (and if they look,
they will eventually find it: the odds are in their favor, if there are
more than a few PC’s). By falling through, they can drop into sewers,
float to the exit, batter away the grate, and they are free.

2) Have a mage do something to the single guard (charm comes to mind
immediately)

Once they are out, they must flee the city (if they try to stay, tell
them the police have noticed their escape, and are beginning a house-to-
house search. This information could come from a bartender or similar
person.) They may wish to steal some equipment, or maybe a friend will
provide them with weapons, urging them to run.

The PC’s can travel either to the ocean (if they can capture a small
vessel) or to the unexplored mountainous regions. There, they can gain
experience and hide until they are ready to return, and find out who
framed them for the murder. (It was the judge, or maybe another
politician. After killing the victim, he planted evidence pointing to
the PC’s. The PC’s may have been political opponents of him, or just
randomly chosen.) =========================================================================
Double-Cross
Authors of Volume 2

Short
Fantasy
Affliction
Quest
Any

The PC’s are hired to retrieve a family heirloom which was stolen from
the family 5 years ago. The family has just found who now has the heirloom
and want the PC’s to steal it back. The current owner is the original thief
and is an accepted member of the community. The theft must be done quietly
so as not to attract attention as the familiy would lose social esteem if it
was known that the object had been lost i.e. no questions asked in town etc.
The current owner has a normal house with normal traps and precautions to
protect this type of treasure, plus whatever skills or guards are required.

After the theft has been performed, the object handed over and the
PC’s are still congratulating themselves on a job well done, reward
posters go up around town for the return of the object, the thieves
wanted dead or alive or the object returned and no questions asked. The
PC’s have been suckered, the object has ALWAYS belonged to the person
they stole it from and they are forced to either flee the area (never to
return), or to get it back again from the person they originally stole it
for (probably a member of the local Thieves’ Guild or similiar). The
preferred method is to lead them toward stealing it back again (if they
can break into the thieves’ guild etc) as there are no other safe
alternatives. If they are captured, no-one will believe them unless the
PC’s pay for a cleric to “Detect Lie” (very expensive under the
circumstances) and no-one will mind if they are accidently killed while
trying to retrieve the object.

Last time I did this the object was a diamond tiara and used in royal
coronations (one of which was due in 2 months). Nearly brought the whole
political structure down. =========================================================================
Time War
Authors of Volume 2

Medium
Fantasy
New Age
Investigation
Quest
Any An experimenting Cleric/Mage has opened a portal to another realm.
Accidently this corresponded with an experiment in a modern-day
underground military base which is performing a physics experiment on
time/space. A trans-Time/dimensional portal is formed, both attuned to
each other such that neither can be closed until both are closed
simultaneously. Meanwhile, a military scouting party of Rambo types have
passed through and are exploring the AD&D area (walky talkies, hand
grenades, sub-machine guns and pistols, hand-to-hand combat etc). They
don’t believe what they’ve ended up in (save vs illusions and mind-
affecting spells at +4) and are taking prisoners of anyone who can give
information on the situation.

Problem 1: Stop the scouting party (including retrieving their gear
if possible).

Problem 2: Find what equipment is needed to close both portals
simultaneously – sages can probably help with this – and get the required
equipment. (I used a Redeye missile and Staff of power, both of which
were in the possession of a Barghest on the plane of Gehenna).

Problem 3: Go through the portal to the Underground base, find the
source controlling the portal, and get control of the area. The guards
are the (US ?) army equiped with modern gear, but the primary security
structure is to block access to the experimental area, rather than the
area itself.

Problem 4: Destroy both portals simultaneously. For example, fire
the missile into controlling computer complex, while simultaneously
breaking (retributive strike) the Staff of Power at the fantasy-side
entrance to the portal. Then get the surviving PC’s from the underground
base to their home realm (either use plane shifting magic or have a time
delay on the portal destruction). =========================================================================
Find the Lord
Authors of Volume 2

Medium
Fantasy
Quest
Investigation
Urban
Dungeon
Castle The elderly Lord of a small adventuring town was found missing from
his home a after a visit from some strange men. The man’s family
determines that he has been kidnapped and hires the PC’s to find him.

The PC’s, following various clues, find the man, and, after a bit of a
fight with Kenku and (some other bird race) the Kenku call for a truce.
They say they were hired to kidnapped the man and the person who hired
them has not shown up with their money. They want no more trouble with
the PC’s and hand over the old man.

So far, so good. What the PC’s don’t know is that the ‘man’ they take back
is actually the Kenku leader, shape-changed into the old lord’s appearance.
The Kenku were able to use magic (my version allow them to be up to 3rd
level mages) to ESP and CHARM the lord into telling them about his home,
servants and treasure.

All goes well until a few days after the PC’s return the ‘lord’. It seems
that most of the servants have been fired, guard captains dismissed for
failing in their duties, etc. In other words, the ‘lord’ is clearing the
castle of any who could recognize a difference in him. His family (if any
– in my campaign there was a granddaughter set off to a nunnery and a son
who was locked in the dungeon for treason – he was blamed for the
kidnapping!!) have been done away with and most of the loyal
servants/guards are gone. The ‘lord’ has hired new ‘people’; more Kenku
coming in as advisors, guards, etc.

Once this was done, they began cleaning out the castle treasury. Needless
to say, the PC’s will be curious, and the townsfolk furious. The ‘lord’
has diverted all monies to his “new and worthwhile projects” while
neglecting the town and allowing things to decay. In the meantime,
servants (Kenku) are looking for a ship (with a captain that would not ask
questions) to come to the castle’s dock during the night. This does not go
unnoticed by the PC’s.

It all comes down to the Kenku, loading the castle treasure into the
ship, and in the midst of this, the PC’s come in and battle the Kenku and
their mercenaries. They may also find the true lord and his son in the
castle dungeon. =========================================================================
The Army Needs You
Authors of Volume 2

Medium
Any
Affliction
Any The PC’s, after wandering into the nearest town for some R&R, suddenly
find themselves drafted into an expeditionary army as a scouting party or
even a small, *expendable* unit with an NPC leader. The pay is a little
money plus food and any necessary clothing. If you want to be nice, you
may assign the PC’s horses, if they don’t have any. As a scouting party,
the PC’s don’t have to travel with the main force of the army, which gets
rid of the possibility of *huge* battles.

At this point the PC’s have several options: -Join the army (possibly in anticipation of relieving the kingdom’s
enemies of unnecessary wealth)

-Play draft dodger and be chased by an elite group of warriors (plus
MU’s and clerics, if you want to get nasty)

-Pretend to join and desert at first opportunity (this would tend to
rocket the PC’s to the top of the local “10 Most Wanted” list).

Any way they choose, you can follow up with new ideas or just adjust
the outcome so they wind up back in the army. The overall goal of the
army is up to you. Whether it is to rescue a princess, lend aid to a
besieged town or outpost, explore uncharted territory, or even to defeat
an opposing army, the PC’s need not participate in any large-scale
battles. The job of scouting gives many opportunities for encounters.
Wilderness encounters, encounters with enemy forces, a ruined temple, or
a castle or two, are just some of the things that can be encountered.
Nature itself can provide lots of good role-playing opportunities. For
example, do you make the dangerous trek over the mountains or go around?
How are you going to cross that rain-swollen river? The possibilities
are endless.

The total outcome of the whole campaign can also be the basis for
another adventure. What happens if the army is defeated or routed? Do
the PC’s try to carry on and compete the mission? What will the PC’s do
when they find themselves stranded deep in hostile territory or deep in
an uncharted wilderness? If the campaign is successful, will the PC’s be
tempted to split up by being promoted to higher positions in the
military? Will the PC’s distinguish themselves and become heroes or
celebrities? Will they fail and be looked on as traitors and criminals?
The rewards can be great and so can the risks. =========================================================================
The Hide of Harker
Authors of Volume 2

Medium
Fantasy
Quest
Any
Demon Baron Harksheen requests an audience with the adventurers. Background
checks will reveal very little is known about this baron. The local
vassal is named G’caird, and is a duke. G’caird has never heard of
Harksheen. Harksheen castle is rather remote, to say the least.

If asked, Harksheen will relate a story about saving the life of one
of the kings’ children several years ago, and how he received this barony
quite by surprise some years later. If the party asks too many
questions, they may be imprisoned in the baron’s dungeons. The baron has
15 men at arms, and can command the skeletons which inhabit all of the
numerous suits of armor displayed in the great hall. (Note that this
armor gives the skeletons much better than normal defenses and weapons.)
If the party notices the skeletons in the armor, the baron will claim
they are the remains of the great warriors who died in the armor.

The Baron’s story is that he would like to obtain a certain suit of
armor that has fallen out of sight. He has uncovered some clues (which
he will be glad to show any mages in the group), that indicate that the
armor, called “The Hide of Harker”, was interred with the remains of one
Keforid, apparently a priest of some sort. The Baron would like to
commission the party to recover the armor, will provide escort and
livestock, and allow the party to keep all other booty.

The Baron’s real name is Harker, he’s a demon. The armor was once his
hide. Besides the defenses of the armor, and the fact that it is nearly
weightless, it has the following abilities: Telepathy with Harker, sense
danger, protection from cold. If Harker is killed, the telepathy
converts to a sort of scrying from his skull. Without it, he is pretty
weak, but if he gets his hands on it (or rather, the other way ’round),
look out. He will warn the party that the armor is cursed, and to be
careful not to wear it. (It isn’t cursed per se, but with it’s special
abilities, wearing it might be a tip off.) The real reason Harksheen
won’t go after the armor himself is that the Wraith wearing the armor
would know what he was going to do next and would be an extremely
formidable opponent.

If the party looks closely at the warrior statue in the crypt, they’ll
notice that the base of the statue is a defeated demon who looks a lot
like the Baron. One of the Tapestries depicts the skinning of the demon. =========================================================================
Caravan Raids
Authors of Volume 2

Medium
Any
Startup
Exploration
Any This plot can be used to get the party together.

During the last few weeks, the characters have been hearing rumors of
bandit raids on caravans travelling the road. These raids are carried out against fairly large and well
protected caravans, indicating a well prepared and large group of
bandits. Regular travellers are almost never bothered. (Note: In my
campaign, this is set in a largely agricultural area. Locals aren’t
worth it).

In addition to the caravan raids, several minor officials and
merchants have been kidnapped and ransomed. The bandits are well
informed, leading the local authorities to believe they may have an
informant in their midst. Also a local minor cleric of the temple of
has vanished without a trace.

Some member of the party is contacted by the local government’s
intelligence organization (preferably one that makes sense. I have a
rogue/spy/courier in my group). They are tasked with gathering a group
of adventurers to scout out the bandits and locate their lair. They are
not to engage the bandits, as the city government is planning a full
scale attack. They are also given some appropriate amount of money to
give the characters incentive. The group gathered is not to know they
are working for the local government. Let the player devise a cover
story.

At the same time, a cleric/paladin character (hopefully of the same
temple as the one above) is contacted by the head of their order, and
instructed to find out what happened to the vanished cleric.

For a more twisted plot, have a party thief in the group be contacted
by the local guild, and told about a supposed government expedition to
find the bandits. Instruct the player to join the party and
sidetrack/stop them if possible.

Behind the scenes, the bandits are actually not as powerful as it
seems. It just so happens that the band’s wizard has developed/found a
more powerful version of the sleep spell, which allows the bandits to
gain a great initial advantage. Furthermore, they are working with the
local thieves’ guild to plan their attacks and are sharing the profits
with the guild. In return, the guild provides information and fences
goods for the bandits. The thieves’ guild would be most upset if their
safe and profitable arrangement is disturbed. =========================================================================
Puff the Magic Dragon
Authors of Volume 2

Medium
Fantasy
Exploration
Comedy
Any
Dragon (This is played as semi-serious comedy and is a good way to lighten
PC’s of extra equipment, normal and magic e.g. armour, swords, potions,
etc)

The PC’s hear rumours of a Dragon down the coast, not far (30 miles)
from the village through which they are currently passing. The local
council can’t afford to pay anyone to get rid of it but it’s been a pest
to all the local fishermen for years. (It used to be worse but has been
a bit quieter for the last 15 years). The PC’s will be heros and a small
reward may be found. The Dragon is actually Puff the Magic Dragon (from
the song for anyone who knows it) and was drawn into this realm from the
dimension of Dreams by a young boy’s imagination (young Jacky Papers).
They always used to play together terrorising pirate ships (fishing
boats) etc until Jacky outgrew his boyhood “imaginary” friend. Puff has
become broken hearted with the loss of Jacky and just mopes around all
day in his cave (hidden in the mists of the coast). He is also a
compulsive coward, and the only valuables he possesses are those things
he and Jacky collected when Jacky was younger (balls of string, used
pirate’s flags, blocks of sealing wax etc). Puff is a green dragon
(nonstandard) with a sonic breath weapon (his cry/wail) which
shatters/disintegrates metal/crystal etc within 40′-70′ (save applies)
and does appropriate damage to people as suits the scenario. He can wail
every 2nd round with NO limits and will usually do so (he really is
depressed). (This makes it hard for fighters to do much to him unless
they are lucky with their magical armour, magical swords etc).

At any time the PC’s approach him he will be sobbing gently. He is a
huge Ancient Dragon of green color (NOT a Monster Manual 1 Green dragon),
hit only by magic weapons and the tears he is crying (every round) are
actually large drops of acid (splash all within 20′ for damage as
appropriate). If they hurt him much at all, he will try to escape, still
sobbing and wailing. Even when escaped, he will try to stay close to his
cave (Jacky’s toys are there) unless it is too dangerous. He will NEVER
try to seriously hurt anyone! Any damage is incidental and caused by
crying. If the PC’s try to talk to him, he will check to see if Jacky is
with them, then stop communicating, breaking into even more heart-rending
sobs (tears in all directions – splashing out to 40′ for 3 rounds).

The preferred solution to all this, if they bother to actually find
out what’s going on (the local sages/mages know and will explain for a
fee), is to either send Puff back to the realm of dreams (extra
adventure) or find Jacky Papers and reunite them (he is probably that
madman wandering the kingdom having lost his memory with a great feeling
of unease about dragons). =========================================================================
Artifact Search
Authors of Volume 2

Medium
Fantasy
Exploration
Magic
Cave (This is based in a world where some great despotic Wizard-kings used
to rule before the free races allied against them and collapsed their
rule, some time in the distant past.)

Recently, a farmer in a rural area fell into an underground cavern
while hunting. Within the cavern are remnants of a vanished culture with
gleaming buildings and strange creatures moving about on unknown errands.
The farmer fled the scene immediately but his stories soon spread,
prompting several expeditions by locals and greedy adventurers. The only
person to return from these was found dead outside a village in the area,
clutching an object fashioned of a strange crystal form. The area is now
treated with caution and fear.

The mage who acquired the crystal form is now hiring a capable group
with the intentions of exploring further in search of greater treasures.

Options: 1) The item was actually an artifact from the Wizard Kings and where
there is one there should be others (Greed inspired).

2) The item was a portion of an unknown artifact, the rest is
desired (Interest and fascination inspired).

3) The item is now known to have been the key holding a major
servant of the Wizard-Kings imprisoned. He/She/It is now free and the
PC’s are required to capture/track/kill it. (Fear and caution inspired).
Maybe the servant knows where some of the Wizard-kings are still alive,
hiding in suspended animation or with their souls held in a magical gem,
waiting their moment of rebirth.

4) The item is actually a map to a hitherto hidden realm (in a
magically shielded valley or alternate dimension) where the cavern’s
inhabitants have come from. They have been preparing themselves for a
looting/slaving expedition into this realm and must be stopped before
they have a chance to expand out of their cavern. (This sets up a
possible major campaign: first clean out the cavern area, then gain
access to the hidden and unknown realm and scout it, then find those who
intend the raiding expeditions etc and stop them).

5) The item is the key to time-travel. The mage who has it wants to
travel back to the time of the Wizard-Kings, alter history so that the
Wizard-Kings win and rule with them over one of the realms. He intends
to trick the PC’s to act as his advance guards and protectors and take
them with him to spoil the plans of the allied free people. (This would
involve lots of trickery and be sneaky to manage, as the players can’t
find out what’s going on until too late – at which point they will
probably want to stop him and go home again).

6) The object has given its new master some great abilities and he
now wants to use the powers of the PC’s to slowly build his personal
power until he is able to rule as the great Wizard-Kings ruled. (See 5). =========================================================================
The Obsidian Castle
Authors of Volume 2

Medium
Fantasy
Exploration
Magic
Castle In the far west, under a permanent cloud, sits the Obsidian Castle.
Twice it has protected some powerful beings bid of domination of the
world, twice is has been foiled. But the Castle is patient, and is
already nuturing the third, who has already begun his march.

The Castle is made of jet black obsidian, each block is exactly the
same size, mortared to the next with a dull brown film, the blood of the
victims sacrificed to build it. Enchantment runs through the entire
structure, oridinary weapons can make no mark upon the walls. The castle
is black – gloomy, and horrific. Light cannot travel far within it –
absorbed by the walls. The floors within are pure black ebony, with no
trace of light or color. It’s hard to breathe in the castle, though
character never seem to run out of air.

The castle actively protects the Dark Lord. It has a nearly infinite
supply of glassy obsidian or ebony or black granite guardians. Gargoyles
guard the upper heights, razor-winged obsidian bats range the great
halls, the moat has no water but is filled with delicately balanced
sheets of razor-sharp glass that would instantly shred anyone who fell
within, even in armor, for the points would find every gap and pierce the
body within.

The Castle is the home and last redoubt of the Dark Lord. Your
characters must raise an army to defeat his orcs, ogres and trolls. They
must forge a treaty with the beings of the light and air – the eagles,
the ki-rin – to provide protection and cover against the Dark Lord’s
leather-winged reptilian flyers. But the army is mere diversion – to get
the players into the Castle.

Deep inside the bowels of the Castle is a room perhaps 100 feet wide
and nearly as high, and paved with gold. The walls are bright polished
marble, hung with cloth-of-gold and studded with endless tiny gems. The
ceiling has an enormous crystal chandelier, whose bright glow is nearly
eclipsed by the six-foot-diameter gem on a low dais in the middle of the
room. The gem is a composite, made of thousands of smaller gems, from
fist-sized to tiny grains, of every shape and kind. They are packed into
a great sphere, facet-to-facet, edge-to-edge, and the sphere is alive
with light of every color in the spectrum. Bolts of light flash from
point to point within – tiny dots in many colors swirl about inside. The
evil spirit of the Castle – its “brain” – dwells within. No living being
has ever entered this room – or even knows it exists, but until the gem
is destroyed, the Obsidian Castle will always rise again, and new Dark
Lords will threaten the world…

Of course, you’ll need to work out a lot of details, but this idea
should be good for three or four campaigns before they figure out that is
isn’t “just another Dark Lord” but the Castle itself that is the real
enemy, and that destroying it is merely a temporary setback. You’ll need
to decide who built it, and why, and when. You’ll need more monsters in
the “broken glass” idiom – many people are afraid of broken glass, it’s a
powerful symbol. Perhaps the Castle is lit with black light torches –
you can see, though all is black and dark, and the flames rime the walls
with frost and burn like frostbite… =========================================================================

Long Summaries
—————
=========================================================================
Large Hideous Monsters
Authors of Volume 2

Long
Fantasy
Quest
Investigation
Any Mostly huge, garishly colored slimy monsters have overrun the
Eastmarch. Refugees are crowding into the city, and a large refugee camp
by the north wall has been set up. The Temple of Osiris is advertising
for adventurers.

The monsters are all different. Even the occasionally recognizable
monster is the wrong color, and they’re mostly very underpowered. One
refugee has been celebrated as a “Dragon Slayer”, since he took out a
huge, firebreathing beast with one blow of his yard rake. The tale
definitely grew in the telling, but the man, “Lucky” Luke Sty-walker,
former pig rancher, hasn’t let it go to his head. After all, after he
killed the “Dragon”, a giant slug ate his house.

On the other hand, there was the “killer bunny”, that killed 6
sheepdogs and a wolf one night, right in the middle of town! It would
have probably continued the rampage, except that it started to melt at
sunrise (a Rarebit of luck, that.)

Finding the source of these monsters is the quest, obviously, and this
is not too difficult a task, as long as the adventurers don’t get eaten.
Nearly every monster has left a clear and obvious trail. The trails all
converge on a stream bed. Near the headwater of the stream is a cave
mouth. An idiot ogre couldn’t miss the fact that major traffic has
issued from it. Inside the cave mouth is a very standard set of caves,
caverns and corridors, unique only in the fact that all of the normally
expected cave denizens are absent from, or dead in, their lairs. One
exception; the first side cave from the entrance has a very dead 12′
cavebear, and a very cute, and hungry, cavebear cub (about 60 pounds).
the cub is likely to attach itself to the first adventurer that doesn’t
hurt it. Like most Ursines, it is omnivorous. Monsters issue from the
cave at about 5 per night (2d4/night), and come into being at the narrow
end of the large cavern. Some don’t even survive walking the length of
the room, which provides the heartier monsters with a much needed snack.
None of the monsters can eat anything terrestrial. Well, they can chew
and swallow, but not derive sustenance.

During the 12 phases of the creation, a light can be seen coming from
“somewhere else”. Careful attention will reveal that this `light’ seems
to be coming from a desk lamp. Also visible is a desk with a hunched-
over “dwarf” in outlandish garb (actually, it’s a kid in a striped T-
shirt). Anyone stepping into the circle of light will be transported
into a 12’x15′ basement room filled with strange and wonderous objects,
most of which will not function properly if brought back to the “real
world”. On the desk are the kid’s `lucky dice’, which are powerful magic
items, and radiate magic strongly (noticed on 11-, 8- by spellcasters).
These dice create monsters if rolled 12 times. The monsters appear in
whichever universe the dice are NOT in. the Dice can be easily destroyed
in either plane, but that destruction will close the trans-dimensional
door that is in the basement behind the desk (which is also obvious to
most adventurers.) While the door is open, anyone leaving the room will
be transported to their own world. Also, magic and technology both work
in the basement room only (and in the cave). =========================================================================
The Jewels of the Castle
Authors of Volume 2

Long
Fantasy
Exploration
Castle On a hill near the characters’ home village once stood a proud castle.
About forty years ago a mage resident there summoned up something he
couldn’t handle, and it pretty much trashed the place. The castle
consists now of the ruins of the outer towers and gatehouse, about twelve
towers in all, only a couple of which have even part of a roof, six inner
towers (including the inner gatehouse) most of which are in very much
disrepair, and the inner keep, which is mostly collapsed. Most of the
castle walls are also torn down, and the moat is overgrown as well.
Under the main keep is a cellar (about three rooms worth.) All of the
wooden buildings, interior wood etc. was burned. The place is rumored to
be haunted, about twenty years ago old Fred went there and never was the
same since.

The players recently found out that the guy that built the castle had
placed a mcguffin under the floor stones in each of the towers, and a
large one under the keep. (The mcguffin is some sort of enchanted jewel
that was supposed to keep the castle from harm or something. In
practice, any enchantment has long worn off, but the jewels should be
worth whatever is an appropriate amount in your campaign.) The players
are the only people (that they know of) with this information, perhaps
they found it in a letter used as a bookmark in an old book.

You should stock the castle mostly with animal, or animal-like
monsters. Perhaps one tower is home to a couple of giant beetles,
another has some feral cats, another has some snakes. A group of
brigands that operates in this neighborhood uses one of the more intact
towers as a camp, perhaps they have hidden some treasure under it,
perhaps several of them are there. An old crone lives in one of the
towers, free rent you see. She makes healing poultices (herbal gunk
etc.) for the brigands in return for food. Treat her as a second level
MU with a charm person spell. You might, if you like, put a more “real”
monster in the main keep, perhaps some sort of sentinel creature (ex. a
water weird, one of the really minor devils etc.).


Wandering monsters. Write up a wandering monster chart. Some of the
entries should be true wandering things such as passing birds, cows etc.
Most of them should be the inhabitants of the towers.

For example: 1. 3 of the cats from tower #1 (night only)
2. The old crone gathering herbs (day only)
3. 1d6 of the giant rats from tower #7 (night only)
4. A brigand patrol (details omitted). If there are currently no
brigands, they are going to their camp in tower #9. If there are
brigands in the camp, roll a d6, on a 1-3 they are going to the camp, on
a roll of 4-6 the brigands in the camp leave etc.

Should the party go home before clearing out the tower, feel free to
replace any slain monsters with others, especially if some time has
elapsed. For instance, now that the large snake has left, a weasel
family has made their home in the moat. The brigands will not always be
there, sometimes there may be as many as (more than the party can handle)
planning a raid somewhere. Be sure to indicate signs of some of the
animals, things like droppings, meal remains, shed carapaces etc. The
brigands are not all that neat, there might be signs that they are around
such as the tower that they use as an outhouse, a pile of cow bones, a
copper penny with a recent date, a torn but unrotted rag etc. =========================================================================
Survival
Authors of Volume 2

Long
Any
Startup
Exploration
Guarding
Wilderness This module is currently designed for 4-6 players of first and second
level, with about 5 to 7 total levels in the party. It provides a way
for the party to meet without resorting to the trite “you’re in a bar”
scenario.

The geographic setting is the northern plains of a continent with a
cool to cold climate during the autumn season. The party begins in a
country on the human side of a human/demihuman border. The demihumans in
question can be either Goblins and Orcs or Goblins and Hobgoblins. The
winter storms are expected to start sometime in the next 4 to 6 weeks,
which will close down the commonly used trade routes through the
mountainous plains to the northeast.

Each character, except thieves, starts as a merchant, messenger, or
mercenary guard in a large caravan heading to another city further north.
The winter seems to be setting in early and the caravan master wants to
leave the city as soon as possible, due to a “special” package that a
local temple has given into his care. The cleric(s) in the party are
sent to “guard” this package. The fighters are mercenaries hired to
guard the caravan on its seven to eight day journey, and the magic users
are merchants (based on their nonweapon proficiencies) along for the
ride.

During the first three to four days it becomes obvious to the fighters
that the caravan master is taking a less traveled route (which is faster
and dangerous) due to the package. On the fourth night, a group of
thieves (some of which are PC’s) from the main town catch up with the
caravan, and plan to steal the package and ransom it back to the temple.
While the attempt is in progress, the camp is attacked by a horde of the
demihumans which results in the eventual disabling of all the PC’s.

The PC’s awaken (roughly at the same time) with 1 HP, no equipment,
money, food, or water, in the middle of a wrecked camp. The PC’s must
“introduce” themselves, leading to a possible confrontation with the
thief character(s), since no one knows who they are or where they are
from. They must then gather what equipment they can find and attempt to
make it back to civilization and SURVIVE. The obvious choice is to press
onward toward the original destination.

Unknown to the party, the demihumans’ camp is nearby. It is the only
source of food and water for miles in the surrounding terrain. The party
should stumble upon a patrol, and gain some additional items. From here
they can disguise themselves to gain access to the camp and possibly
steal food, water, and possibly horses.

When the party finds the camp, they discover it is actually the ruins
of an ancient fortress. Several questions come up: Who is leading this
company of bandits? What is their purpose? Are they a threat (to the
greater civilization)? The party may investigate these questions. If
they do, several options exist for the adventure from this point. Do
they try and defeat the leaders? Reconnoiter to gather more information
to answer some of the above questions? Try and find the treasure trove?
Run? As they investigate the ruined fortress, they gain the opportunity
to do all of the above and more. The dungeon also provides opportunities
to introduce replacements for characters who may have died.

The adventure concludes with the PC’s leaving the demihuman camp and
finishing the 2 to 3 day trek to civilization on foot, leaving the
bandits intact for a second adventure. =========================================================================
Herbs
Authors of Volume 2

Long
Fantasy
Affliction
Quest
Wilderness The background is that one of the characters in the campaign, has some
major bodily damage, beyond the capabilities of the party to heal. They
rush him to town to find a healer.

The healer heals the character, but tells the party that it is only
temporary. He says that the character will need the application of a
special herb to make the healing permanent. The healer tells the party
how to find a Druid whom he knows for the whereabouts of the herb. The
party is able to get the Druid to agree to accompany them.

The Druid knows the general area in which the herb grows. Finding the
herb is not a guarantee. After a trip taking several days into the
outback, and approximately one day of unsuccessful searching for the
herb, the party has an encounter with a group of orcs. (Party ambushes
orcs, orcs ambush party, whatever). When searched, at least one of the
orcs will have a small quanity of herb on his person. If all the orcs
are dead the party will be able to track the orcs to their ‘lair’. If
one is alive, he will bring the party to the ‘lair’ if threatened. If
asked about the herb, the orc is not aware that it is anything special.
(The orcs gather quantities of the herb and use it as a narcotic and are
unaware of the herb’s healing powers, as they smoke it – not the proper
form of application. If any orcs are questioned about the herb, treat it
as if someone on the street beat you up, took your cigarettes and asked
about their ‘special healing properties’.)

The orc ‘lair’ is actually a small village/outpost. If this region is
orc infested, make it a village (they have to come from somewhere). If
the region is relatively orc-free, have it an advanced orc outpost. (i.e.
no non-combatants)

Have enough orcs in the ‘lair’ such that a frontal assualt would be
nearly impossible. Sneakiness counts here folks!

The ‘lair’ is actually above ground. It consists of a group of huts
sufficent for the orcs’ purpose. (Housing, maybe a forge, food, armory,

etc.) Two of the structures will be made of stone, the places occupied
by the priests and the high leaders. The entire village is surrounded by
a wooden palisade. (Think of old forts in western movies.) The logs are
buried deep enough so that they cannot be easily moved. The wall is nine
feet high with points at the top, and is treated with a sap-like residue
from the local trees that make it nearly resistant to fire. (Fires take
more time to start and don’t spread fast.) The walls are not tough to
climb by oneself and are easy with the help of another. Within the walls
are several outpost towers (approx. 15 feet tall) that are used to see
out beyond the walls.

The orcs have enough of the herb to take care of the injured
character, plus possibly some left over for the party.

For combatants, remember that in an organization this size there will
be a chain of command. I had a supreme leader, a second in command, a
handful of lieutenants, many sergeants and about 150 standard fighters.
I also used two spell-users to make things more lively (players
occasionally fall into the trap in which they believe they are the only
ones with magic accessible to them) and an ogre to make things exciting.
I also included 20 worgs in a pen. (Worgs are large semi-intelligent,
evil wolves that orcs occasionally ride into battle, also called dire
wolves.) The worgs will only affect the outcome if either released from
the pen or if the party tries to sneak by them.

If any of the party escape and at least one of the others are
captured, one of the spell-users will attempt to charm the character.
Once charmed the character will be instructed to find the rest of the
group and bring them back to ‘rescue’ their comrades. (This is a -great-
chance for roleplaying for the the player involved!) Set up an
appropriate ambush. If the orcs’ plan to entice the players back seems to
have too many holes in it, that’s ok, orcs aren’t renowned for their great
plans.

The herb, in addition to its healing properties is also addictive.
For healing, the herb must be administered over a one week period. In
games terms, withdrawal from the herb will result in a penalty to action.
Withdrawal will be complete five days after the last time the herb was
administered. During these five days, the penalties should peak at day
three then gradually drop off. Since the herb has a side-effect
(withdrawal), races that have a natural resistance to poison will not
benefit fully from the herb. =========================================================================
Lizards everywhere
Authors of Volume 2

Long
Fantasy
Quest
Investigation
Any
Dragon This plot is good for fantasy RPGs (designed for AD&D, approx. 6
characters of 6th-8th level)

A small farming community several miles from where the characters are
based has made an appeal to the mayor of the village to put an end to
what are described as “dragon raids”. The mayor, who is coming up for
re-election, has heard of the fame of the heroes and comes to them for
help in slaying the dragon that has terrorized his constituents.

What the heroes are told:
————————-
Recently (in the last few weeks), a dragon with green skin has
shambled up out of the nearby marsh and carried off livestock in its
mouth. The farmers are upset at this loss of their resources. A group
of the farmers held a meeting and sent two volunteers out into the swamp,
but they have not been heard from since.

What the heroes will find, upon investigation:
———————————————-
Large, muddy footprints on the grounds of the farmers whose livestock
have been stolen–mostly those living right next to the marsh to take
advantage of the fertile ground–ostensibly “dragon tracks”. If they ask
questions of the right people, they will find someone who swears he saw
the dragon change into a dragon-man and walk off into the swamp. The
rest of the town thinks this old guy is nuts. The dragon has not been
spotted any farther away from the swamp than about 30 yards. None of the
townsfolk remember seeing any wings on the creature.

Some information the heroes *might* be able to discover:
——————————————————–
Green dragons do not, by habit, live in marshland areas. They prefer
the serenity and relative abundance of game supplied by verdant forests.
Green dragons also delight in deceiving and controlling human operations.
A green dragon without wings is an oddity, to be sure.

In fact, the kind of dragons who DO live in the swamp are black
dragons.

None of this information should be available without sage
consultation.

What is actually going on:
————————–
A little ways into the marsh is a small settlement of lizard men.
These are not the ordinary warlike race, but rather a pacifistic
offshoot… deadly when necessary, but downright friendly otherwise.
They are, in fact, farmers themselves, cultivating nutritious plants and
fungi, and keeping their own herd animals: giant lizards.

The harvest has been bad this year, and feeding the giant lizards has
become second priority. So the lizards, starving, wandered off towards
the human village in search of food…and found it.

The human farmers wouldn’t know a dragon from an oversized water
snake, so they naturally panicked. No farmer in his right mind would go
dragon hunting in a swamp, nohow. And the story grew a little more
fantastic with each telling….

Once, the lizard men followed one of the lizards toward the human
farms. It was near dusk, and visibility was poor, so it was an easy
mistake to say that the “dragon” had changed into a “dragon-man”. But
overall, the lizard men have avoided the humans for fear of prejudice and
misunderstanding. If approached peacefully, and the situation is
explained, the humanoids will be willing to pay restitution for the
animals. They are also willing to open a trade avenue with the humans,
if such an idea is acceptable, but that is up to the farmers.

Other goings-on:
—————-
Elsewhere, *deeper* in the swamp, lairs an old black dragon. He
sleeps, unaware of the turmoil occurring in the nearby village. In fact,
the last time his sleep was disturbed was a couple of weeks back, when
two lanky humans intruded rudely upon his nap. Fortunately for the
dragon, he happened to be mildly hungry at the time. =========================================================================
The House of Raushof Gollenbacher
Authors of Volume 2

Long
Horror
Quest
Investigation
Building A noble requests the party to investigate a spook house he rents in a
town. They are to locate, identify, and banish the source of the odd
sounds, sights, smells, or whatever. For this, they will be paid
handsomely, since the noble likes the apartment’s location as a perfect
“incognito” kind of place.

The house with the apartment lies in a middle-class part of the town,
the buildings are not very crowded, but old. The building is registered
in the name of one Raushof Gollenbacher, but any attempt to find out who
this person is, will fail; nobody knows. The proprietor is an old gnome
called Muschfyths, who don’t like people.

Muschfyths -is- Raushof. Raushof was a name he used when he bought
the house years ago. He got fake ID papers from a human forger he knew
at the time – the forger later died in a traffic “accident” (these things
happen, you know…).

If the party checks for the names of previous renters of the building,
the list will mysteriously have been destroyed in a recent fire, and
Muschfyths will have a bad memory. If the investigators insist on
sleeping in the apartment at night, nothing will happen – the “ghost”
will only be present on nights the investigators are off the premises.

If the rental contract is checked, any lawyer type person will see,
under close scrutiny, that it contains a clause denying the renter any
rights of having his/her money back, and a demand of three months advance
rent.

The house is FULL of secret doors. These doors lead into other rooms.
Depending on the basis of the effects: 1) There _is_ indeed a ghost, or spectre, that creates the sounds, and
this ghost has been enslaved by Muschfyths, and kept on a magical jar
when not needed. The other rooms of the house will contain chains of
meta-steel (steel able to exist in both the ethereal and material
planes), jars of iron sulphate (substitute Stinking Cloud, any AD&D’ers
out there) and related “spooky”/scary things. These are applied by the
ghost when trying to scare the occupants. The ghost can be banished if: a) Muschfyths is killed. This will free the ghost/spectre from its
obligations to him.
b) The jar is broken. The ghost no longer has a prison in this
world. If Muschfyths is still alive, the ghost is still enslaved, but
can not be “turned off” until Muschfyths can find another suitable
prison.
c) The ghost can be banished by a cleric of a God of The Dead or a
God of Healing (in Warhammer terms, Morr or Shallya). If Muschfyths is
still alive, the chance of banishing is lowered.
2) The sounds etc. are produced by mechanical devices built by
Muschfyths. These devices will rely on technical knowledge far beyond
the understanding of any non-gnome player, and even to gnomes, they
appear strange. Treat the machinery as “traps”, and feel free to include
steam engines, “perpetuum mobile”s etc. to your heart’s content. The
characters will perceive the devices as magic unless they can detect they
are not. (You might even want to make some of the devices magic…)

The devices are placed in the rooms surrounding the apartment.
Muschfyths is the only person that knows how the things work. It’s VERY
dangerous to try and operate the devices without proper training – and if
the party finds the devices, Muschfyths will have disappeared…perhaps.


Data on Muschfyths:

Race: Gnome
Age: Above middle age (for gnomes, very old for humans)
Physical: Not very strong, somewhat agile
Mental: Very bright, VERY talented in either technical areas or magic
relating to beings of a spectral nature (depending on the “source”, see
above)
Psyche: Greedy, selfish, paranoid coward. Can be considered being of
an evil alignment.
Abilities: Depending on the “source” (see above):
1) Identify Ethereal Undead, Ritual: Enslave Etereal Undead,
Ritual: Imprison Ethereal Undead.
2) (TL stands for Technology Level) Ritual: Make/Unmake Strange
Device (TL +1), Operate Device (TL +1), Identify Device (TL +0).
Also: Weapon Use: Knives and Daggers, Hiding: Urban, Culture:
Gnome.

=========================================================================

Contributors
————-

Eric Bohm (aka Gothmog)
Rob Crawford
Russ Gilman
Lesley Grant (A little PARANOIA's good for the soul...)
Todd O. Howard (Maybe Dungeon didn't accept it, but I did!)
Matt Hucke
Andrew Hummell
Geoffrey Kimbrough
Lisa Leutheuser
"matthew" (There's always one...)
D. J. McCarthy
Douglas McCorison
John McMullen (Wow!)
Rob McNeur (Wow again!)
Marc Midura (Material from Ralph LeBlanc, Mark Naper...you can never have
             too much!)
John S. Novak, III
Bruce W. Onder
Ami Silberman (Janitor of Lunacy)
Brett Slocum (One of the more loyal contributors... :-))
Larry Smith (I did send you my form letter, didn't I?  If not, thanks!)
Mark Thomas
Jim Vogel (No liches this time)
Dr Williams (I can ALWAYS use it...)
Jeff Williamson

Many thanks to everyone who contributed material to make the second
volume bigger and better than the first. Apologies to Wayne, who sent
mountains of stuff, but since the Net.Plots.Book is public domain I can’t
include copyrighted (or even copylefted!) material. I don’t do
PostScript, LaTeX, or anything but ASCII. If anyone would like to
convert the Book and send me a copy, I’ll distribute that as well.
Enjoy, everyone!

—————————————————————————-

Phil Scadden, Scadden Research
55 Buick St, Petone, Lower Hutt
New Zealand
ph (04) 568-7190, fax (04) 569 5016

The Net Book of Plots – Volume 3

———-========== The NET.PLOTS.BOOK ==========———-
Volume III
Compiled by Phil Scadden and Aaron Sher

Editors Note:

Compilation of this volume was originally started by Aaron Sher and has been
completed by me. It contains plot and scenarios for mostly for fantasy RPGs but
some from other genres have also been submitted. (Come on other-genre players –
get you contributions in for Vol IV). Plots have been presented in no particular
order but there is a large Appendix which is a compilation of the responses to
the “On the road you meet…” thread in rec.games.frp.misc. I have made only
minimal changes (spelling usually) to the material as received. I hope everyone
finds this enjoyable and useful.

Authorship of individual plots have been accredited individually with email
address where I had them (missing from some collected by Aaron – if you can
supply please email me). Author attribution is at the top of each plot.Authors
appreciate feedback – if you use any of these try telling the author how you
did. IT MAY WELL ENCOURAGE THEM TO CONTRIBUTE MORE PLOTS TO THE NEXT VOLUME.

Finally, my thanks to all who submitted these plots and especially to Aaron Sher
who dreamt up the Net.plot.books in the first place.

Phil Scadden P.Scadden@LHN.GNS.CRI.NZ 18/2/94

Bring in (temple) auditors
Ben Davis
bjd12@cus.cam.ac.uk

Short
Fantasy
Intrigue
Rural

Local temple (agricultural type goddess) been generally lax and living it up,
not actually doing much work in the way of religion. One of the PCs knows
someone in this temple – is asked to do a favour. The major temple of the same
religion is sending round a small group to “inspect” all the little provincial
places. The report will be both a financial one (audit) and a load of interviews
with the congregation. If the report gets done properly (ie truthfully) all the
priests are in big trouble.

What the PCs are asked to do is to help alter the way the report gets done. The
problem is that _a_ report has to get done, that killing the visitors is a
massive no go, and that the PCs are going to have to alter the perception of the
temple and the surroundings without the visitors realising.

In the version we ran, the PCs got a hand from the priests in that the priests
took care of the congregation (by buying them all drinks etc) and the party only
had to deal with the visitors. They did this by finding out some background (5
visitors), and then seducing 2, getting 1 blind drunk, bribing one, and
blackmailing the last. Thus the report was written by the right people, and no-
one’s suspicions were raised.

Misplaced Poison
Ben Davis
bjd12@cus.cam.ac.uk

Short
Fantasy
Any
Investigation
Coastal

Staying in pub – landlady’s daughter comes back from playing on the beach in the
early morning to collapse – initial thoughts are that she’s ill, further
investigation will reveal she’s been poisoned.

Turns out the kids (small group on beach) found a rowing boat aground, with a
case in it. They nicked the case, found it was full of food, and eat it several
die, all very ill (they didn’t eat much of the food ’cause they didn’t like it –
unusual taste).

Food was being dropped off to be picked up by a caravan passing nearby, where it
would be swapped for an identical case (unpoisoned) and sent on to its buyer, a
powerful alderman (or equivalent) in a nearby town.

So – to help out the landlady the PCs have to sort out a number of things owner
of the boat, realise a caravan was going to be nearby at the time, find out from
the merchant where the food was going, make all the right connections. They
should then meet up with the alderman, who’ll realise the attempted
assassination attempt (especially if the PCs have still got a sample of the food
– its a delicacy that’s his favourite and that no-one else likes), and may ask
the Pcs to sort out who was behind the poisoning. This will now entail crawling
around the city getting the poison analysed, tracing the boat, the buyer of the
poison and so on. Who’s behind it is up to you (as is everything else really) –
I had his son responsible (via a long and convoluted chain.) ================================================================================

Stuck with the ancestors
Ben Davis
bjd12@cus.cam.ac.uk

Short
Fantasy
Horror
Investigation
Any PCs are dealing with some nomadic tribe (in my version, they were trying to set
up a trade deal with them). Problem – chiefs brother has disappeared in
mysterious circumstances (surprise me) and, guess what, the tribe is mourning
and is not prone to doing business – so, if the intrepid PCs can rescue the
brother, everyone’ll be happy.

The brother has in fact tried to visit the ancestral plane to find out loads of
Good Things, meet ancestors etc. He got the instructions from a ghost in an old
ruined hill fort, which he got the location of from a diary he bought from some
other nomads (the PCs can sort all this out with the right clues). He went to
the hill fort, summoned the ghost, and got the spell to open a gate to the other
plane. Unfortunately, the ghost being a miserable bugger, and the brother being
of the trusting and slightly awed sort, the ghost withheld how to get back “for
a laugh”. So, the brother successfully built the gate, went to the ancestral
plane, only to discover he couldn’t get back. The PCs had better be more
ruthless when talking to the ghost or exactly the same’ll happen to them,

The way this scenario goes depends very much on what the PCs do –
when I ran it, the main feat was getting to the hill fort and talking to the
ghost – rounding up the components for the gate and rescuing the brother were
fairly simple compared to that.

================================================================================

Rescue from Water World
Ben Davis
bjd12@cus.cam.ac.uk

Short
Sci-Fi
Quest
Ocean

PCs are asked/hired to go and pick up (if they have a starship) or escort on a
liner (if they haven’t) four people from a nearby system. Ideally, get them to
agree before they have much chance to do any background research.

The world they’ll be going to is a Balkanised water world. The four people
they’re meeting are political dissidents from one of the governments, a
theocracy. The starport is in a different country, a bureaucratic obsessed blood
pressure inducing place.

Unsurprisingly, the four dissidents don’t turn up for the rendezvous. Depending
on things, they’ve either
-been put under house arrest
-been arrested by the bureaucracy for a minor traffic violation (driving a
powerboat without due care and attention)
-or something similar.

The governments concerned (make the planet have at least 4 or 5 for fun) should
be sufficiently twitchy that, when the PCs do eventually find out where these
people have got to, they can’t just steam in with guns blazing. ’cause the
military are on standby most of the time, and all hell’ll break loose. The way
my PCs got them out from house arrest on a floating hydroponics plant (remember,
its a water world, makes life _much_ more difficult) was to hack into the
theocracy’s job allocation computer, have all four of them transferred on a
Police boat (so as not to attract attention) to a nearby oil rig, and took the
boat in transit during an electrical storm (weather conditions on a slowly
rotating (40hr day) water world)

Just for comment, we were using a 2300AD/old Traveller(TM) hybrid (2300AD
characters, Traveller universe, hybrid gear with a touch of Cyberpunk(TM) for
good measure.)

================================================================================
REVENGE
Jan Garefelt
d90-jga@nada.kth.se

Short
Any
Quest
Affliction
Startup
Any

The PC:s get kidnapped in their youth, before starting their career as
adventurers. (This of course makes it difficult for the players to choose a
scholarly profession, but it is not impossible.)

The kidnapper (in our campaign his name was Barbarossa) is really a slaver who
enjoys tormenting his captives before selling them off in a slave market in a
country faaar from the respective PC:s home.

After x years of slavery in {a coal mine, a salt mine, the fields picking
cotton} our heroes get a chance to escape. The escape can be an adventure by
itself.

The PC:s may be from any part of the world. (They may even have problems in
understanding each others language in the beginning.) After successful escape
they by incident see Barbarossa. The word “revenge” suddenly appears in their
minds.

What can they do to hurt the seemingly too powerful slaver?

================================================================================
Will the REAL John Smith please drop dead?
Graham Wills
gwills@research.att.com

Short
Fantasy
Investigation
Rural

The PCs find a freshly dug grave, haunted by the ghost of the victim, who will
follow them around and wake them at nights wailing “John Smith killed me; avenge
my death”. They are also hired to hunt down someone who robbed a rich merchant.
His name was John Smith. Whatever. Eventually the PCs will go looking for John
Smith. He is a local farmer, totally innocuous, who lives on a rather isolated
farm near a dangerous area.

When they find him, he tries to zap them with a nasty wand, but after one
charge, he drops it and attacks with a sword. He is berserk, but has very few
hits and dies rapidly. When they get back to town they are told that while they
were gone John Smith left on a boat/caravan/pogo stick. They are confused. They
are even more confused when they are attacked by John Smith.

A shape changer/illusionist has got hold of a neat magic item that is supposed
to make people believe they are someone else. Unfortunately the item is broken
and makes people believe they are one particular person … namely John Smith,
the first person the item was used on. Undeterred, our villain controls numerous
people, making them John Smiths and occasionally taking on the John Smith
persona to do dirty deeds. Even when there are obviously far too many John
Smiths, he’ll keep doing this, as people will be reluctant to kill someone who
could be their wife, brother or mother!

The PCs will have to tackle numerous John Smiths of varying dangerousness and
capture them, determine whether he’s a stupid peasant or a high-level evil
genius and deal with the situation.

This is great for low-level types without spells that could solve the problem
rapidly. High-level PCs would just do a Detection type spells and wrap up.

================================================================================
A Dangerous One Night Stand
Author: Charles W. Manry Jr.
cmanry@eecs.wsu.edu

Medium
Any
Affliction
Intrigue
Urban

Setting: Town with 1 or more tavern’s, meeting places, etc.
Target is male Pc.

A Pc is on the make, ie. looking for love. A woman comes in and looks over the
place and picks one of the Pc’s. She grabs ’em and asks him to come back to his
place. They get into a very *nice* coach. If the Pc asks any questions about
the woman’s background she’ll say that she is a wealthy widow (she is lying!).
One into the carriage she becomes all hands. Once home, a nice large mansion,
she ignores the servants strange looks and drags Pc up to the bedroom where a
night of passion will commence.

The punch line: The lady is really the wife of mayor/prominent community
leader/miliary leader/etc who has been cheating on her. She’s out to get
revenge! The night with the Pc is the method of her choosing!

In the morning the servants, who do their best to ignore the Pc’s presence, will
come in and straighten up. They will fold the clothes and bring breakfast. In
the middle of breakfast the husband will come home. The wife will get out of
bed and start throwing their freshly folded clothes all over the bedroom. Mean
while, one of the servants will tell the husband that his wife has company! The
husband will charge into the bedroom and try to kill the Pc. This will be
occurring while the wife is saying to her husband, “Serves you right for
cheating on me!”, “He was much better than you”, “Oh! I never new what I was
missing until last night”, etc. This causes the husband to go into blind rage
causing him to not fight up to this full potential.

Options:
The Pc can try to fight if he gets his weapon. Once this occurs the
husband will calm down and fight to the best of his ability. If the Pc does
kill or wound the husband the wife will attack the Pc. She really still loves
the husband (all well as a few other women!) and will try to protect him. At
this point the Pc becomes just a tool for her revenge. She does not care what
happens to him….

Flee!!!! The husband will chase the Pc into the streets and then stop
saying that he’ll get revenge!

Either situations can cause a man hunt for the Pc. The city guards will be
brought into the situation. If caught, you can toss ’em jail, strip them of
$$’s and items, etc. If they flee the town, bring this sub-plot back into play
every time they return to the town. Or send mercs. after the Pc’s party to
bring back the one Pc to “justice”.

Have fun with this one. Make ’em pay for fooling around with out thinking too
much! 8^).

================================================================================
Magna Carta? Not with this emperor!
David Kurt Spencer
dspencer@WPI.wpi.EDU

Short
Fantasy
Sci-Fi
Intrigue
Urban

This was designed for a rather high level party in a very politically unstable
world. The local government is being treated unfairly by the big federal-style
empire ruling over them and the neighboring cities. The cities are currently in
a state of alliance in trying to overthrow the central government, not through
civil war (unless it comes to that) but through diplomatic means. The scenario
is that the Emperor has a mysterious covert army, made up of people with
assassin-type skills (in RM I use NightBlades). This army kidnaps the Emperor’s
heir’s fiancee and tells her that they are revolutionaries supporting the
revolutionary alliance. The Emperor then sends a small army force to each city
to take the local government people into custody for questioning concerning the
kidnapping, since he has found “clues that implicate them…” His plan is to
take them into custody, then release the girl who will swear to her grave they
were revolutionaries who kidnapped her, and thus he will have no recourse but to
execute the troublesome barons. The Barons obviously are not going to go
peacefully but then again they don’t want an all out war. Have the Barons get
some advanced notice somehow (spies with magic communication or whatever) so
they can prepare. In my world I also had Paladins roaming the streets who
supported the Empire. Now the Baron sends the city into an uproar to fight off
the Emperor’s troops. Catch is, the shadow army is here to catch the Baron
alive (poison arrow comes to mind). As for what the PCs are doing, in my
campaign they were rabid revolutionaries and they ran around killing Paladins
and Emperor’s troops until they saw the Baron and managed (plot catch) to see a
guy aiming an arrow at him. They save the Baron’s life and the Baron thanks
them…and asks them to do him a favor. He’s seen them working in the streets
and knows they are good, plus they just saved him. He asks them to go to the
capital city, speak to some of his spies there, and find out where the heir’s
fiancee is hidden. If they free her and convince her that the people behind her
capture weren’t rebels but someone else in disguise, then the Emperor will have
to call off his troops and a war can be prevented. In my campaign they were also
asked to delay the Emperor’s reinforcement troops so they couldn’t get to the
city before the Barons were proven innocent. Note, this will probably not be
possible without the PCs having access to some sort of teleportation/
instantaneous travel…

================================================================================
Misplaced journeys in time and space
Loren Miller
MILLERL@wharton.upenn.edu

Medium
Sci-Fi
Exploration
Intrigue
Space
Ship

Background: setting 1998 earth, with incompetent bureaucracy ruling the USA, has
already scuttled NASA and decided to go with a space program under direct
congressional control (!). The ship travels by exploding fusion devices behind
it and travelling forward on the strength of the blast. Obviously it has a very
strong shield on the back. Obviously it is not aerodynamic.

The ship’s mission is to go to Alpha Centauri and gather data on whether or not
the system is suitable for human habitation (earth is becoming uninhabitable
because of pollution and mismanagement).

The characters all have hidden motives, as they are all agents of one or another
secret society in the fragmented USA government. They have to depend on a
navputer+, a navigational computer that is programmed to take care of all their
needs. πŸ˜‰

The problem is that Djin wants to look at the world after 500 years, and to play
off the humor of all these relics of ancient days wandering around in the brave
new world of 2500 AD. Since the trip to AC will only take about 9 years of
objective time, what to do?

I’m getting an evil idea…

The Navputer+ gets close enough to Alpha Centauri to check it out. Orders sent
in the mean time by genius senator Orrin Hatch’s subcommittee on efficient space
exploration have downgraded the importance of human observation on this task.
Quickly confirming that there is no suitable planet for life, the Navputer
decides to continue on to Barnard’s star before waking up the crew!

The crew awakens and starts working, then discovers that the starfield is all
wrong and they’re not in the solar system they expected, then they notice that
huge gas giant in orbit. They discover a planet in the habitable zone, though
calculations are difficult because of that huge companion planet. They also
discover that they’re short on fuel to get back. If they just head back they’ll
take about 100 years to make it the 9 ly (or so) back from Barnard’s star. After
much racking of brain they find a black hole passing by the solar system, just a
little bit off the plane of the galaxy, and decide to use the black hole’s
gravity to give them a boost back towards Sol (it’s going that general direction
anyway).

Anyway, after much panicking and gnashing of teeth they go for it. Only
complication is that the acceleration is going to be so strong that no human
will be able to pilot through the black hole. They’ll have to go into cryo and
let the navputer (the one that didn’t wake them up last time) do the steering,
and don’t have a big window for operations on the other end either, since food
is running short.

And finally, the experiment backfires again, though the trip is made at near
light-speed (about 9 years) unpredictable time “currents” around the black hole
make them *go away* for 500 years.

Finally, the heroes awake in the solar system, speeding past Neptune at .9C. Can
they slow down in time to stop at earth, or do they have to depend on earth to
save them? They’ll probably try to pull another deceleration manoeuvre, but this
time the only available large body is the sun. Can it stop them without killing
them (is the nuclear shield on the back large enough to shield them)?

At long last the heroes arrive on earth, only to find it is 500 years later,
nobody knows them, and their ship is an interesting relic. Their knowledge of
Barnard’s star is dated. The only unique information they have is on the black
hole and the time dilation they experienced. It might be worth big bucks, but
how to use the information? 1. Maybe they can create some kind of time-stasis device? The rest of the
campaign could be a struggle to protect the invention and become industrial
magnates, then eventually rulers of their own demesne, perhaps to sit on the
first galactic throne, all the time struggling against industrial espionage,
cults of personality, eco-terrorists, interstellar teamsters, and the adoring
public.
2. Or maybe another black hole is approaching some important planet
(earth?) and the original crew’s data can help them divert it. But the Navputer
was sold for scrap long ago, and the tapes are covered with dust (or were caught
in a flood) since they were stored by an incompetent bureaucrat. The characters
search for the Navputer, which is now running some children’s ride in
Spielbergland, etc. You get the idea.
The possibilities, especially for satire, are endless.

================================================================================
The Wayward Princess and the Church of Evil
Robert T. Fanning

Short
Fantasy
Quest
Intrigue
Any

The king or some important noble’s daughter was drawn into an evil religion,
which involves drugs, orgies and other corrupting influences. He wants her
back, but she doesn’t want to come, enjoying it as she is. In reality, she
is being kept around to encourage his good behaviour, but they won’t
hesitate to kill her ( even though she doesn’t know it ). If the party
attempts to get her back, she will use the first opportunity to betray them
or escape, but won’t do this until the worst possible moment. She could
leave a few tokens on the trail which the PC’s would miss. The PC’s have no
reason to suspect her. The best way to portray this is to have the
princess, etc being given the best possible quarters for her “prison”, which
she doesn’t leave. She could also have gained formidable spell powers in a
few months of casting spells within the ethos. This will annoy the players
if they need to take her back to get their reward, especially since they
have made another enemy in the form of the corrupting religion. The
princess can deliberately deceive the players into believing her innocence.
A few red herrings, such as the evil church actually sending out assassins
to kill her, instead of recovering her ( which of course, she doesn’t
believe until it is too late after she manages to escape and go back. )

The reason for this is that the king wasn’t behaving himself by sending
adventurers after her, especially if the King has just blown it before by
standing up to the evil church because he has come to the decision that he
might have to take the risk and they are about to carry out their threat
because of it, which makes time very crucial.

The best way to give them a time limit is to set a special event upon which
the princess is to be unknowingly sacrificed. If the PC’s fail to pull it
off in time, they get no money for their trouble, make an enemy of both the
king and evil church, as well as probably being suckered with a powerful
curse.

================================================================================
Honor Among Thieves
Wayne J. Rasmussen.
wjr@netcom.com

Long
Fantasy
Intrigue
Urban
Town

This is a short adventure for a group of low level PCs. There should be at
least one mage, one rogue, and one cleric in the party. The adventure takes
place in the small town/village of Hartthorn.

Scenario Description:
A halfling thief named Freebag, was once a trusted member of a thieves guild.
Then one day he stole a very large sum of money from the guild. He is currently
in the process of leaving the area where the guild operates. In a village to the
east (Dar-Town is its name) Freebag spent a night in a safe house. While there
he heard of about a wizard who was selling a magic item in Hartthorn. Since
Hartthorn is a growing town and has no guild (the local leader is very strict on
thieves) Freebag decided to go there. Besides, it gets him farther away from
the guild. Freebag meets a small group of halfling fighters and merchants on the
way which let him travel with them. Mostly due to racial trust reasons. He
arrives at Fred’s in Hartthorn at start of this adventure.

While Freebag was making good his escape, the guild didn’t stand idle. Using
some of their special methods they have placed the rumour about a magic item for
sale in Hartthorn knowing if Freebag heard the rumour he would go after it.
They have done several things like this in all areas out around the guilds area
of operation. They not sure of his whereabouts, but, need time to get agents
into position. A group of these agents arrived in Hartthorn several days ago.
With the agents are two guild members who know Freebag. They will identify
Freebag and stay out of his sight while the other agents do their plan.

The plan is to get the money back by counter-ripoff. Due to the local political
situation, the agents do not want to incur the wrath of the local leader. They
want to get the money back peacefully. The rumour is that a MU is selling a
Girdle of Storm Giant Strength for 4000GP. Interested buyers are to contact a
man named Logard at Fred’s. The agents will recover most of the money and let
Freebag go. If forced to, they will use violent means to recover the money.
Players could disrupt this plan….

Players don’t hear the rumor, *THIS IS IMPORTANT*, but, overhear the
conversation between Logard and Freebag. If they players decide not to get
involved the events still happen, but, the PCs go on their way. It is nice to
have some adventures which the players decide whether or not to get involved
with. In my game, they didn’t pursue them the first time this was run. I
expected the thieves to act as thieves, instead they just hung around waiting
for the GM to lay an adventure in their lap.

PLACES IN TOWN used in this adventure:
Hartthorn Inn: Nice inn, average costs, there is a room for gambling,
individual rooms and a dinning room with the best local food (very good and some
unusual local items.)

Hastings Inn: Poor inn, average costs – substandard rooms, some low life types
in here. Especially the owner! He is an evil low level mage. Hartthorn was built
over the remains of an enemy fort (wooden fortress) which was destroy in a war
150 years ago. The leaders of the winning army were forewarned not to explore
the underground area beneath the fortress. A few years ago, while digging a
large wine cellar, the owner discovered at passage into the area beneath the
fortress. He now charges 1SP or more to let adventures adventure within. The
local leader knows about this but is not concerned.

Ki Rin House: Part of a chain of fine inns and hotels which all go by this
name. This place is two story building, continual lights surround the entire
building and very experienced guards patrol inside and out. Customers are
searched going in and weapons are checked in and locked up. The all doors to all
rooms are in view of each other. Frequented by merchants, mages, and anyone who
can afford the stay (1GP per night at least, meals 1-5 gp). The are mostly good
sorts here. The owner and his wife are powerful in their class. Thieves would
best stay away from here! The owner pulls in a good 120 GP to 200 GP per day
here.

Fred’s: In my world, Fred is a god of drinking/pleasure. Many go here to drink
and have a good time. Fred was used in several games throughout the U.S military
in the 70’s.

Stable: Good stable, excellent horses for sale!

NON-PLAYER CHARACTERS in this adventure:
Freebag male 1/2ling thief, suberb dexterity, leather amour, foil,
dagger, +1 cloak of protection. Member of the Guild gone bad. Stole from the
Guild and is on the run. He is greedy and loves to flash his wealth around. He
will buy women drinks and try to seduce them. He gambles heavily. He is
staying at the Hartthorn Inn.

****The Guild’s Agents****
Leader

Logard male Human Fighter, powerful, nasty, chainmail, long
sword- (2xspecialization with Long sword), dagger, longbow, lance, 1 magic
potion perhaps

Melitiak Male Human Magic User, say 5 spells available and a magic item

Xilia female 1/2elf Thief moderately good, magic weapon

Trank male elf Thief moderately good, magical leather armor and a weapon

Eifpak male human Cleric. Good. Plate & sh, Potion
of powerful healing

GoMoku Male Human Thief, newbie, Potion of powerful
healing.

****End of Guild’s Agents****

The Adventure:

A group of 1/2lings arrive in town. Most are fighters, but one is a thief
(Freebag is his name) who has stolen mob money. One of the party members thieves
sees this halfling spending platinum and gold at Fred’s. He is buying a man
(Logard is his name) drinks and is talking to him. Freebag gets information
about a magic item for sale (if the players overhear, don’t tell them what type
of item unless they are reluctant to do anything). Freebag tips Logard with
10PP and leaves. A woman (Xilia is her name) talks with Logard for a few
seconds then leaves Fred’s while Logard stays and enjoys Fred’s.

Freebag goes to the Ki Rin house to buy a girdle of Storm giant strength which he
heard was for sale. The halfling will be negotiating with a mu (Melitiak by
name) to by a magic item from him (Melitiak is actually a member of The Guild
trying to get the money back peacefully by counter-ripoff). The halfling states
he must go to his hiding spot to get the large sum of money being asked for the
magic item(4000GP). The two agree to meet back at the Ki Rin house in 24 hours.
This should give the party plenty of time to ripoff Freebag. The hiding spot is
in his room at the Hartthorn inn. The guild didn’t know what room he is in and
they don’t want to do anything that might look like active thieving if they did.
This could put legal/political pressure on the guild.

WHAT COULD HAPPEN Possible actions:

*****
* 1 *
*****

If the party rips-off the halfling Thief, The halfling’s body will be found in
two days in his room murdered (Large lumps on his head are found and his wrists
are rope burned. His throat was slit). With the mob money is evidence letting
the group know that this money belongs to a major thieves guild (Insert Guild
name here!). The mob money totals 4500GP (11JS 48JC 210PP 1150GP). JS is a
Jade Square and is equal to 100GP. JC is a Jade Circle and is worth 25 Gold
pieces.

If the guild has to kill Freebag, they will hang around town and try to figure
out who has their money. If anyone in the party starts to by expensive stuff or
shows off hidden wealth they will become suspected by the guild. If the group
approaches Melitiak to but the girdle of Storm giant strength at this time they
will become suspect. The guild will sell the girdle in this case and get their
money back. This way they succeed in their mission. If the guild suspects
party members they will follow them around and watch them. They may try to
kidnap a party member to get the money back. At worst they will attack them or
enspell them somehow.

When the guild agents get their money back they will leave the town through the
south gate into the fields and then to the wilderness. The guilds agents escaped
to the south and entered an environment controlled by woodland creatures or a
high level magic-user and /or Druid. If the PCs kills a deer hunting for food
(or other woodland types) the group will be geased/quested to kill a creature
which has been killing woodland creatures or hurting the forest. The creature
is a basilisk. The group will find signs of it in an area one day, if they
camp/sleep near this area the basilisk will find them at night. If they find
the lair they could be in trouble! (in it’s lair there is some treasure 2000
silver pieces, 400 electrum, 200 gold, 50 platinum, 1 scroll of protection from
undead, and a +1 short sword. there is also a treasure map to a nearby tomb
which contains 20 ghouls, 2 shadows, 14 wights, 1 ghast, and 1 wraith. The map
doesn’t mention the undead or that it is a tomb.)

If the group tries to find out who killed the halfling they will get the
following information: Freebag came into town with a group of halflings. The
halflings are staying at the Hasting’s inn. Freebag stayed at the Hartthorn
Inn.

Other information found out below if they investigate.

The other halflings will say that Freebag was hauling a heavy wooden chest on
his horse. Freebag joined them in Dar-town and came along for strength in
numbers and racial trust reasons. They know nothing else.

Hartthorn inn: Owner says that he was quiet and paid in advance for his room. He
felt that Freebag had molten gold in his pocket. His daughter (wench) served him
dinner normally. The wooden chest is not in his room.
Wench @ the Hartthorn Inn: Mentions the dinner and wine and that he gambled
after he ate. She will point out a gambler she last saw Freebag with.
Gambler @ the Hartthorn Inn: States that he played cards with him and broke
even. Halfway into the game some other men wanted to join so he gave up for the
night. The men who join the game had been staying in this inn. The two men are
GoMoku and Eifpak. He will give descriptions of the two men. GoMoku and Eifpak
are camping outside of town since Freebag was killed.

Stable man found knocked out: He was guarding the place was knocked out. Nothing
is missing. Freebag’s horse is in here. If the hay in the horse stall is
searched they will find the Scroll mentioned above.

A speak with dead performed on Freebag will work if they ask questions about his
murder and who killed him. This is the easiest way for the group to discover the
murderers. Note: the murderers are staying at different inns and they will
leave town if other members of the guild group are caught.

*****
* 2 *
*****

If the group doesn’t rip off Freebag for the money, the transaction for the
girdle will go on as planned. The Guild will get it’s money back and Freebag
will go on his way with a fake girdle of Storm Giant Strength. Freebag will
quickly figure out that the girdle is a fake and will leave the area under the
Guilds control ASAP. The guild will not take any further action against Freebag
unless he stays in the area. In this case they will have him murdered.

It is possible that the group will try to rob the mage of his money instead.
They must try this outside of the Ki Rin House, Else they will most likely die.
The mage will be surrounded by his friends when he exits the Ki Rin House so if
he is attacked the group should expect some back attacks. If the group wants to
follow him out of town use the plan in the paragraph below.

The Guild group will regroup and leave town two hours after the sale of the
girdle. They will exit through the south gate. If they notice anyone
following, they will move forward quickly and try to setup an ambush. If the
group catches up before the ambush, they will try to run. After having run away
from the group once the PCs gets attacked at night at their camp (unless they
appear to strong to handle) or the group is ambushed the next day. Each member
of the Guild group has 20PP on them. The last guild member will have the chest
of mob money.

*****
* 3 *
*****

If the group tries to get the Girdle from Freebag (non-stealthily) he will first
try to sell it to them for 6000GP. If attacked he will offer to give them some
very interesting information if they let him go (A scroll written in Thieves
Cant relating the safe house in Dar-town). Second, he will boast of his new
found strength and warn the group not to attack him. He will also inform them
of his expertise in fighting with the foil (a lie). If this doesn’t work he
will run away, fighting only if there is no other choice. The group will figure
out the girdles quality quickly.

================================================================================
Temple Raid
Wayne J. Rasmussen.
wjr@netcom.com

Long
Fantasy
Affliction
Building

Suggested requirements: This adventure is for a group of thieves of low-mid
level.

Scenario Description: An evil god of thieves demands a sacrifice of a thief
to satisfy his needs. He would desire a non-guild thief, but, any thief
will do. The clerics of this god are trying to find a thief/thieves to
sacrifice. One of the higher level clerics is attempting to get the PCs
into the temple by pretending to be a thief and stating he has knowledge of
rich treasure within it.

Places in the scenario:
Temple of Stoth: A large building with several towers. There are guards below
and apparently none on the outside or at the upper floors of the tower.

NPCs in the scenario:
Matar: Male Human Cleric, Medium level, good leather amour, Gauntlets
of climbing, Ring of feather falling, Platinum ring set with an opal, necklace
of gold and jewels worth 5000gp+, silver bracelet with turquoise setting,
Magical silver lock picks which add +5% of all thieving skills. All his pouches
have material components for clerical spells. He will have at least two hold
person spells and one dispell magic spell memorised.

Stoth: god of thieves- Purpose: to control all Thief related activity.
This is not lawful, this is a selfish power hungry god who doesn’t care who
he steps on! He sees crime as anti-law. Notes: Thieves guilds which pay
dues are left alone. In those guilds which pay, many members are also
worshipers. Guilds which don’t pay are considered enemies. Non-guild
thieves which are not worshippers are enemies. Enemies are to be “converted”
or removed from the business. Almost all member guilds have clerics in
them, who control or manipulate the guild. The clerics have some thief
skills as well as normal clerical spells, but, they are limited to thieves
weapons and armour. Occasionally, Stoth (his clerics) demand a sacrifice of
enemy thieves.

New Items:
Magic lock picks: Giving to loyal clerics of Stoth who have performed a
remarkable act of thieving. They add 5% to all thieving skills.

The Adventure:
PC Thieves find an NPC Thief (Matar) who wants to raid/burglarise a temple of
Stoth (a nasty god of thieves). They will meet him in any of a variety of
places: a bar, the guild headquarters, adventuring, etc. They have been
targeted for sacrifice. He tries to enlist the aid of the group by speaking of
great riches and magic items!

WHAT COULD HAPPEN Possible actions:

*****
* 1 *
*****

* . * KEY:
* . * * = Stone Wall
* . * .. = Heat Trail
* . * M = Magic User
* . * C = Cleric
******* . ******* F = Fighter
* M > . < T * T = Thief * C <........> C * — = Balcony Ledge
* C > < C * >
* T < > F * < = Curtain/Tapestry ******* ******* >
* *
* *
* *
****** ******
* *
* Balcony *
——————–

If the group goes with him, Matar will insist the group not go through the from
doors as they are guarded. He will recommend climbing the walls up to any of
the balconies which are on the upper levels. He will claim the riches are kept
up there. The guards/clerics will notice Matar’s movement and will be waiting
the groups arrival at a balcony. Matar will not be the first person to the top
of the balcony, unless the group insists. The first person to reach the balcony
will sees the heat trail(s) (if he has infravision) upon entering the first
hallway, which is dimly lit by candles, he will see heat trails which led to two
tapestries. One is on the left side of the hallway, while the other is on the
right side. Behind these there is Stoth worshipper’s “sacrificial welcoming
committee”. They will attack to capture the characters using magic, lasso, and
subdual damage. The should get surprise on the PCs unless the see the heat
trails. Other guards/clerics will arrive if the combat last a long time. The
PCs should concern themselves with escape.
Methods of Escape: A) Climb back down the wall they came up on. This will be the easiest method
to escape. They will have a free round of climbing if they run immediately
(they do no other actions) upon seeing the heat trails. If they don’t see
the heat trails tough luck. At the bottom of the wall below the balcony a
glyph will have been placed after they reached the balcony by a cleric. The
glyph is a paralysing glyph. Saving Throw negates the effect. They will be
pursued for at least 12 turns. The clerics may use find the path to get
them.

B) Attack and defeat the welcoming committee, and escape by racing through the
maze of the temple. This should not be easy because of their unfamiliarity
and the hosts familiarity. This is stupidity on the players part, but, who
knows, they might get lucky.
C) Magic might work. Teleportation or other device such as flying. The PC
should not go to any place public to hide because they will be found. The
clerics have watched them for some time and know their usual public hangouts.
Same goes for their homes. If the PCs have several safe houses which are not
guild related, they might get away with it. Hanging out at a good aligned
temple will protect them from the clerics for sure. Other will depend on the
relationship between all those involved.

If the PCs escape there is a chance that one of their other plans will succeed
in getting them a thief. The chance is 1-5 on a D6 that the players will be
left alone. If a 6 is rolled, the clerics will summon a demon to grab a PC and
return with it alive to the temple. The demon can’t enter any good temple, or
within 200 feet of the alter of a non-evil god.

All those thieves who do not escape will be killed that night! Other classed
characters which might somehow be with will be quested to act as a guard for the
temple. This quest will last as long as if the player was charmed, but, at -2
on his intelligence. At the end of this time the may leave.

*****
* 2 *
*****

If the PCs won’t come with him, he will break down and cry. He will claim that
he was quested by a good aligned cleric to get back a magical holy item from the
evil temple. He has tried, but, can’t get past a trick lock mechanism on a
sliding metal door. The door has a lock on both sides which must be picked at
the same time. The locks reset if the door isn’t open or the other lock isn’t
unlocked immediately. He needs at least one other thief to help him. He is
willing to let the thief have any and all treasure found inside except the item
he needs.
If the PCs buy this, goto to #1 above.
If they don’t buy this, goto #3 below.

*****
* 3 *
*****

Earlier in the evening/day, a thief picked pockets on a non-thief PC in the
group. The thief (Matar) will now show the thieves this item. They will
recognise the item as belonging to the character. Matar will tell them to come
with him and raid the temple or this person will suffer dearly. The character,
has not been really kidnapped for fear of provoking what ever guild might
represent that PC’s class.
If they buy this goto #1 above.
If the PC’s threaten Matar back, he can be convinced to take the characters
to where the PC is. This is Another trap.
If they PC’s fail to get involved, the clerics will react as follows. Roll 1d8 1. Nothing.
2. The next time any of the players commit a theft within the city. The
city guard will get tipped off and the PC will get arrested.
3. The temple will send clerics and thieves to rip off the players homes while
they are adventuring in or out of town. This will happen as long as the PCs
are in town or they join the Temple or one high priest of the church is
killed by any means.
4.Rumours will be spread around the city which will caused people not to trust
them or take their eyes off their activities. The guards will search their
Homes whenever a crime is reported, Merchants will be extra careful around
them, etc. Good deeds performed by the PCs will reduce this.
5. The clerics will ask the PCs to join the church of Stoth. If they accept,
great. If not, roll again.
6. The church of Stoth will hire assassins to kill the PCs. One attempt only.
7. The PCs will find a map detailing a wizards keep and its defences. The map
will be correct, but, the magical defences will be wrong in a very bad way.
8. Problems with the Thieves guild. If the PCs are members roll 1d4) 1. Money is stolen from the guild, PCs help search for it. The money is
found in their home(s).
2. Another Thieves guild has started up. PCs must decide which guild they
will support. The church will really support the guild which the PCs
are not a part of.
3. A guild member joins the group for a city adventure. During the
adventure, someone they encounter is killed. They guild is under
pressure to give the city the killers. The PCs are given over. They
have a chance to prove themselves. The guild member belongs to the
church.
4. PCs are ordered on a mission which, unknown to the guild leaders is a
trap.

If the PCs are not members of the guild they will be offered to join, stop thief
activities in town, or leave.

================================================================================
Map of the Magician’s Lair
Matthew Norman Carlson

Short
Fantasy
Exploration
Dungeon

The PC’s find a map to an abandoned underground lair – including some
description of the resident of the lair. They recognise the resident and
know that he is long dead (perhaps a high level MU). The map details the
caverns to a great extent (perhaps leaving out some key rooms). The map also
neglects to mention the many traps set throughout the lair – or perhaps
mentions one or two giving the PC’s a false sense of security. As for
monsters, are undead boring? They still be around from the MU’s days.
Perhaps rodents, snakes, spiders as well. For the main villain a wight or
perhaps a very minor demon (trapped on this plane with the appropriate wards
– “You have entered a room with a large circle engraved on the floor. You
notice this circle because it lights up as the fighter walks into it. The
room suddenly becomes very dark and you hear a low growling laughter.”). Or
perhaps the MU is not dead, only very old and quite insane – thus maybe he
has neglected to memorise his higher level spells and sits quietly on his
throne waiting to die (thus not such a formidable opponent). Or perhaps his
last opponent turned him into an ogre or a doppelganger or whatever you want
(maybe using divine intervention to end his spell casting ability).

================================================================================

Space Metal Missing
Soren Parbaek
parbaek@iesd.auc.dk

Medium
Sci-Fi
Investigation
Space
Building

A company has lost contact with a mining planet about 12 h away from the main
base. The mining base is mining a valuable metal. There has been some problems
with the production in the last 2-3 month, and the last time the transport ship
returned, it returned with only a fraction of the normal production.

The PC’s are going with the normal transport ship out to the base after a
briefing at the main base.

At the base when they arrive with a complete record/file from HQ. The base
personnel are waiting to fill the transporter as usual. (Yes, as usual…) The
players are invited by the base commander to get the usual tourist guide in the
mining complex. All of the 20 persons on the mining base are equipped with the
usual transmitter, that gives possibility to know where they are at all times.
(Only the base commander can get into this program) When the players are shown
the production facility, an accident happens on a random mining level, where the
leading geologist accidentally falls into the main elevator, where he is crushed
under the stones under the transport up to the production hall. The players in
the production hall will be able to see the bloody stones, and they will think
that this was *NOT* an accident. The base commander breaks down when he sees hes
good friend crushed under the stones, and the base doctor will have to put him
to sleep for 12 h. This should cut most of the party’s resources. (This is meant
as a delay and an obstruction for the players) Most of the valuable information
is bound to the commanders personal password.

All the records on the station are *NOT* falsified and they show that there has
been no problems with the station. They have delivered the normal production at
the normal times.

Sidetrack no. 1: The dead geologist, has a photo of a beautiful girl standing on
his bed table, but his personal record shows no such thing. His record has not
been updated by the commander since the connection with the girl happened under
his 2 month leave, from which he has returned from for only 3 weeks ago (He came
out with the last transporter)

Sidetrack no 2: The dead geologist had been offered an other job by another
company. (At the same place where his girlfriend works..). It is a research job,
and he would have taken it when his contract was finished, because he likes to
do research better then to do mining.

Sidetrack no 3: He is doing some research in his spare time together with 2
other scientists at the base. They are working on an analysis of crystals
electronic possibilities. They have found a interesting crystal in a meteorite
on the surface, and is now making some tests…

Solution: The dead geologist *WAS* an accident. The mining station *HAS*
delivered its regularly normal production. At the HQ there was a smart
programmer, that has falsified the messages from the mining station and
redirected the valuable metal to his own bank account.. This should bee easily
found out if the players check the messages logs in the HQ and the base. The
players messages is getting edited before they get through to HQ and HQ’s replay
is also getting edited by the programmer before it is sent back to the players.
This will allow the players to get most of the info they need to find out what
is wrong..

I spun a few threads more myself, when I ran the scenario. It took my
players 12h of very exiting and good roleplaying to find the solution. They
did *NOT* like the solution, but if you build it logically up, and make the
communication lines heavy (Long replay times: The computer for the personal
files at HQ has gone down, and is first up in an hour… etc…)

My mining base was a large asteroid with no atmosphere, so the players could
only move in the base and the mining shafts. The mining was run by robots and
the persons at the base were there to plan the mining, maintain the robots and
operate the refinery.

================================================================================
The Isabel Piece
Luis E. Torres
let@reef.cis.ufl.edu

Long
Western
Investigation
Rural
Town
Wilderness

This adventure was originally made for the BOOT HILL western game, but it can be
adapted to any western game campaign.

Promise City, Summer of 1890.
The party has just arrived at Promise City, in El Dorado County, Texas, looking
for Ben Cartwheel, an old friend of one of the PC’s father, and rancher of
Promise City. When they get into the town, they see a man dressed in black, with
milky white skin, harassing a young lady in her mid-twenties. The party should
confront the man, who leaves, but not before saying the PCs will pay for this
(There should be no fight, though; we’ll need this character for later).

The woman is none other than Elizabeth Cartwheel, Ben’s daughter. She takes the
party to the Cartwheel ranch, a few miles out of town, where they meet Ben. He
explains that the man in black name is Montgomery, and he is Mr. G’s right hand.
Mr. G is a mysterious and prominent rancher in Promise City, and he “owns the
town”. He seldom leaves his ranch, The G ranch, and is rarely seen. Ben also
tells the party about the news of the last two days, mainly, the disappearance
of the town judge, Judge Parson, and also about the kidnapping of the Indian
Chief Sitting Bear, from the Indian reservation to the north of El Dorado
County.

The party will probably accept Ben’s invitations and stay for the night. Next
day, they will go to town, and, quite by chance, they will stumble upon Judge
Parson’s wagon, a few hundred yards from the road. Next to it is Parson’s body,
shot. Examination of the wagon shows that two people were riding on it, one of
them the judge. Marks of horses are seen around the wagon. A few feet from it,
the party finds an Indian feather, the type of feather worn by Indian chiefs.
And they find a small cigar stub.

If the party informs the sheriff, he will say he’ll conduct an investigation,
but will be suspiciously uninterested. If the party searches the Judge’s office
(inside the Promise City Court Room), they will find a clipping from an old
newspaper quoting some words from chief Sitting Bear, which are underlined: “…
white men have arrived here, sick and bleeding, and we have done for them what
we could, but they died here, sharing their last secrets with me…”. They also
find a map, with a red line connecting Promise City with the reservation, and a
name: Richard Flynn.

What’s going on:

In the summer of 1880 Richard Flynn, a known thief and outlaw, robbed the
Promise City branch of the First National Bank. At the moment the bank vault was
holding an important shipping of money coming from California, as well as a
number of valuables, the most important of which was a golden necklace speckled
with precious stones, the Isabel Piece. The Isabel Piece, an invaluable work of
art, originally part of queen Isabel of Spain’s personal jewellery, made
expressly on the fifteenth century, and supposedly stolen from the Royal Vault
in 1624, had been found by chance among the ruins of an old Mexican town in the
middle of California. Now, while the Spanish Crown, the Government of Mexico,
and the United States waged diplomatic wars to keep control of the newly found
necklace, the necklace itself was being transported to the East coast to be
displayed in a museum. During the Piece’s two-day stay at Promise City, the
outlaw Flynn and the two members of his band somehow slipped into the bank and
parted, taking almost all of the money and, of course, the Isabel Piece.

During their escape, Flynn and one of his henchmen were wounded. While under
subsequent pursuit by the regular Army division that was supposed to have kept
the money safe, Flynn divided his band, sending the henchman that hadn’t been
wounded in a different direction, to throw off the pursuit. This ploy worked to
a great extent; when the Army finally captured the diverting outlaw, Flynn and
his remaining man had a good four hours advantage. The Army threw itself again
on pursuit. Many hours later, when it was obvious for Flynn that he was going to
be captured, he and his underling hid the booty somewhere along the road. Having
ridden themselves of this bulky weight, they were able to escape and where never
seen again.

The captured outlaw, the one who had been sent as a diversion, was put on trial,
presided by Judge Parson. Parson was not an honest person, and he saw this as
the chance to get his hands on the booty and disappear. The problem was, he had
to find out where the money was hidden. To this end he interrogated the outlaw,
who didn’t know where the booty was, but said Flynn’s plan was to lay low in the
Indian reservation for a while. Parson conveniently kept this information a
secret. The outlaw was finally found guilty of robbery and hanged, although the
money was never found.

Ten years go by. In 1890, Judge Parson finds a newspaper article written by a
bold young reporter who managed to get inside the Indian reservation and
interview Chief Sitting Bear. One particular sentence in the article struck
Parson: “… white men have arrived here, sick and bleeding, and we have done
for them what we could, but they died here, sharing their last secrets with
me…”.

Convinced that those words meant that Chief Sitting Bear had a clue to Flynn’s
final destiny and to the location of the treasure, Parson went to the Indian
reservation pretending to be a friendly reporter, and interviewed the Chief
about the secrets whispered by those white men. Confronted by the Chief’s
refusal to disclose the dead’s secrets, and already without doubt that those
“white men” had been Flynn and his henchman, because of the similitude in the
dates, Parson dropped the pretence and kidnapped Chief Sitting Bear, taking him,
bound and gagged, back to Promise City.

What Parson didn’t know is that for the last ten years he had been closely
watched by Mr. G. Mr. G, being wealthy, and also being a jewellery admirer, had
secretly hired Flynn to sneak into the bank and steal the Isabel Piece for him.
The plan went wrong when Flynn, consumed by greed, decided to take not only the
Piece, but also the money, and to doublecross Mr. G. After Flynn’s escape and
disappearance, the location of the treasure was as much a mystery to Mr. G as it
was to Parson. However, Mr. G was convinced that Parson knew something
important, and kept a watch on him. That precaution finally paid off.

While returning from the Indian reservation with Chief Sitting Bear, Parson was
ambushed by Montgomery and murdered. Chief Sitting Bear was then taken to the G
Ranch, where he was going to be interrogated.

The Investigation:

Sooner or later the party will start investigating on its own (you should try to
push them a bit). They can ask Ben Cartwheel about who Richard Flynn is, or they
can go to the Promise City Times newspaper (the “newspaper” is published weekly
and is about two pages long). Anyway, they should easily find out about the
Isabel Piece robbery and the mystery of the Flynn treasure. The cigar stub
should point to Montgomery, who usually smokes expensive cigars (you can change
this clue for something more subtle). Of course, if Montgomery is involved, then
Mr. G also is. That would explain why the sheriff is so uninterested in the
case.

After one or two encounters with Mr. G’s men (who by now have figured that the
party is meddling around), the party should be ready to sneak into the G ranch
(a big complex surrounded by a wooden fence and guarded by G’s men) and save
chief Sitting Bear. (the rescue should be where lots of the action will go).

After being saved, the chief tells the party that Flynn was really with him ten
years ago, and he mentioned that “some important Promise City rancher” had hired
him to steal the Piece, and that he had doublecrossed this rancher. Flynn also
told the chief the location of the treasure, and he tells the players about it.
(you should make the location of the treasure a cryptic message which the
Indians would not be unable to understand because they don’t know the proper
names; for example “three gun-lengths north of the division of the river of the
Griffin”, where Griffin is the name of a small town; otherwise, you will have to
explain WHY the Indians haven’t dug the treasure by themselves!)

The party travels to the cave, possibly having one or two encounters on the way.
There are several possibilities here: a) The party finds the money and the Piece. Meanwhile, Montgomery has been to
the Cartwheel Ranch, and he has taken Ben and Elizabeth as hostages, in exchange
for the Piece. This is when the final showdown with Montgomery should take
place. Note that Mr. G will probably be a long term campaign enemy.

b) The party finds the money, but not the Piece. As it turns out, the Chief had
had the Piece all along, planning to use it to fund an Indian rebellion. The
only reason he gave the party the location of the treasure was because it would
have been too suspicious to keep quiet after all that has happened. The party
does not know any of this and will be baffled when Montgomery tries to exchange
his hostages for an item the party does not have.

c) While camping on their way to the treasure, the chief makes a fire, to “keep
warm”. When the party finds the treasure, an Indian band appears, and surrounds
them. The chief then proceeds to explain that the money and the Piece will fund
the rebellion, and takes the money with him, leaving the party gagged or
whatever. This makes for an interesting situation; now the party must find the
escaping Indians, while evading Mr. G’s men, and trying to save Ben and
Elizabeth at the same time. Alternatively, the party may want to help the
Indians in their attempt at escaping their small reservation, and restoring
their rightful lands.

Bandit chase for a fistful of taxes…
Mark A. Thomas
thomas@capitol.com

Long
Fantasy
Quest
Rural
Urban
City

This scenario is designed for lower level characters, however it could be
modified to suit higher level groups. The campaign setting is low magic, and
powerful magic in the hands of the group will make this more difficult to
run. This takes place in and around a small city in the center of a large
rural agricultural area. There are several small hamlets and villages within
a few days ride of the city.

The party is sitting in their favorite bar/temple feeling bored when the
pounding of hooves and the shouts of guards draws their attention outside.
Just as they make it out the door, they see a large group (15 or so) of
armed riders charge out the nearby city gate, pursued by a small number of
city guardsmen. The guardsmen return shortly, and if the players inquire,
they can discover that the local tax collector was just robbed and this
year’s revenue from the annual sheep tax was stolen.

Within an hour or so, a guard captain should start visiting various taverns,
announcing a generous reward for the return of the strongbox. The characters
should notice that there is little interest among the locals to pursue the
fleeing tax monies. Questioning locals will reveal that the thief is a well
known bandit that has plagued the town from time to time, He has a fairly
nasty reputation and has killed at least 8/10/14/22 men (depending on who
you talk to. 6 is the real number).

Once the group decides to actually go for the raiders, they should have
little trouble following the trail. It leads straight across country for
several days riding. If the characters are familiar with the area, they will
realize the trail is leading to a tiny village nearby. Sometime before
reaching the village, the party should lose the trail when crossing a river.
further efforts to pick it up should prove to be very difficult. Hopefully
the party will head into the village.

The party should arrive in the village near dusk and find it to be very
deserted looking. The only building that shows any light is the small
fortified tavern at the far end of the village. The tavern is a two story
affair, with rooms above a common area on the first floor. If they go in,
they will find only the tavern keeper standing behind the bar. He will
appear to be nervous and occasionally dart glances in the back room behind
the bar. He will claim to have seen no strangers in town and try to get rid
of the party with the “we close in 5 minutes” bit. Should the characters
check the back room, over the barman’s protests, they’ll discover 3 bandits
holding the barman’s wife at knifepoint.

The bandits will threaten the barman’s wife and one of them will whistle
loudly. In short order several more bandits will appear from upstairs and a
few more will enter through the back door. Finally a group of 8 or more will
enter through the front door, dragging the unconscious body of anyone that
was watching outside. The leader of the bandits is in this last group. He is
a rather twitchy looking fellow, armed with a rather large bastard sword and
chainmail. The rest of the bandits are in either leather, scale or chain.
Most are armed with broadswords and short bows. The bandit leader is
mid-level fighter (or high enough that the party will not succeed in taking
him out without help). Most of the bandits should be low level fighters or
thieves. There is at least one with some knowledge of magic. All told there
are 15 bandits plus a leader. Quite a group, but they don’t look like much.
Should the players decide to fight, they should be quickly and mercilessly
pummelled into unconsciousness. This is the ideal course πŸ˜‰ Should they not
fight, the bandits will chose one or two characters to rough up with the
goal of starting a fight. The characters will be prevented from leaving, and
eventually, a fight will start.

The characters will wake several hours later with aching heads and bruised
bodies. The bandits will be long gone. As each wakes, they will discover
that any valuables they had have been stolen. They will also notice 2
strangers in the inn. The first stranger is a lean, hardbitten, cold eyed
human wearing dusty riding clothes and a suit of elvan chain. Slung over his
shoulder is a bastard sword with a rather unusual blade (dwarven steel, +2
damage due to hardness/sharpness, non-magical). The second is a tall, broad
shouldered elf, carrying a huge long bow (probably not anyone in the group
that could string it, much less fire it). He is dressed as a noble and looks
somewhat out of place. A glance outside will reveal that the characters
horses are still there, and there are two large well kept riding horses
there as well.

The strangers will be very reluctant to discuss themselves. The human in
fact will not give his name. They will ask about the bandits and try to
obtain all information they can from the party about their movements. They
will head out after the bandits once they have gotten all the info they can
from the group. Should the group suggest an alliance, the pair will resist,
but will eventually be convinced to let the party tag along. They will make
it clear that they are in charge and the bandit leader is theirs to
kill/capture. The bandits trail should be clear from the village, and the
party will quickly realize that the bandits are headed for an abandoned
orchard and farmhouse that lies a days ride away.

The party will arrive at the farmhouse and quickly discern that the bandits
are there. There are about 20 horses tied up in the barn and sounds of a
large group coming from the remains of the farm house. The elf will vanish
into the trees near the farm and the sword slinging human will start into
the farmhouse. The party should be forced to act quickly. In any case,
mayhem will soon start, as the sword swinger heads straight for the bandit
leader, who immediately attacks. The other bandits will spread out and a
general melee should ensue. The sword swinger will concentrate on the
leader, and the bowman hidden in the woods will do the same should the
chance arise, otherwise he will pick off bandits. The party should have
their hands full with the rest of the bandits. Should the party prove
successful, they will find the tax chest intact (magically sealed), and the
two strangers will show no interest in it. They will instead pack the now
dead bandit leader and several of his followers onto horses and leave
without a word. Should the party inquire, they will be informed that there
is a bounty offered for bandit in some nearby city. They will refuse a share
of the reward money. The adventure will hopefully end with the party
returning the tax chest, the strangers collecting the rewards on the
bandits, and everyone happy. Note that the players will find most of their
stolen belongings as well.

Behind the scenes:

The sword swinging stranger should be a mid-level fighter. He has the
advantage of being very dexterous and very practiced with his sword. In my
campaign, he fought as a fighter 2 levels above his current level with his
bastard sword. Also in the first round of combat he always gets the first
swing. He has the disadvantage of being non-proficient with any other weapon.

The elvan bowman is also mid-level fighter with the additional advantage
of having a good dexterity and maximum elvan strength. His bow is a custom
design which adds strength bonuses to damage. He gets an additional attack
per round with the bow, and is non-proficient with any other weapon.

The bandit leader is specialised in bastard sword. He has the benefit of a
good strength and constitution. He is also somewhat insane and enjoys
killing.

Motivation:

The strangers are both bounty hunters with personal grudges to settle as
well. The sword slinger’s wife was raped and killed by the bandit leader,
and the elf’s father was killed by him. Also the reward for the bandit and
several of his band adds up to 3 times the amount offered for the return of
the chest.

Side Plots:

The players get involved in bounty hunting via the two strangers. Someone
tries to stop the players from reaching the city with the chest. One or both
of the strangers are sorely wounded and the party decides to help them out.

References:

For more info on the strangers and the bandits, watch “For a Few Dollars
More” with Clint Eastwood πŸ˜‰

================================================================================
An Air of Distrust
Wayne J. Rasmussen.
wjr@netcom.com

Long
Fantasy
Quest
Exploration
Building
Djinn
Efreeti

AN AIR OF DISTRUST

Scenario Requirements: The adventure is set for a group of thieves, who
might be part of a larger group of adventurers. The group should consist of
2-5 thieves of Low-mid levels. Multiclassed characters which having thief as
a class should be allowed. Non-thieves should not be allowed on this
adventure. The adventure is meant to be a short one which could be played
easily in one night.

Scenario Description:
Thieves hear of a magical or monetary prize to be gained from a well to do’s
house. While scouting around the house or when they start to burglarise the
place they meet a fellow thief. The thief will offer the group to join him
on the adventure, and will claim to have scouted the area out and have
information which will make the job easy. Unknown to the characters, the
thief is really a Djinni in disguise.

Places in the Scenario:
Well-to-do’ house: Called house in the text. A small manse with a wall
around it and a few guards outside. Inside there a creatures protecting the
owners wealth. The owner is a magic user who happens to be away at the time
of this adventure.

NPCs in the scenario:

Ah-Trah: A Djinni of the most powerful type. He is an ultra-genius,
and has the abilities of a high priest and wizard on his home plane. He is
noble and has a large number of servants. He likes to travel to the prime
material plane for fun every few years or so. If he gets killed there he
reappears on his home plane but can’t leave it for 1001 days. Many of the
items mentioned in this scenario were made by him. Including any rings of
wishing. The wishes can’t be used against him in any way (this includes his
servants and his possessions). He is on the current adventure to get his
ring of air elemental command back (he didn’t make it, it is a very powerful
item on his plane). He lost it when he died on his last trip to this plane.
If he is a friend for life of the group he will aid them when he can and
invite them to his castle or go on adventures with them every few years or
so. Some adventures could be on his own plane. Has the sword of the air
with him on this trip and a jar of Keoghtoms Ointment.

Birnleyas Corinthas: A thief which the PCs will meet during the ripoff
part of the scenario. He is around mid-level and is evil. He will think
nothing of stabbing the PCs in the back after the adventure, and won’t bear
his part of the combat burden. He has +2 leather armour, +3 dagger, Potion
of speed, and a potion of extra healing. He has an Superb strength, and
legendary dexterity. He fights with a dagger in each hand or with short bow.

New Items in the scenario:

Bag of the Winds: A magical pouch which when opened and a command word
is spoken will blow a very strong breeze in a specific direction. The
direction is fixed and can’t be changed. The breeze can be used to breakup
magical gases, such as a stinking cloud, or to power the sails of a ship.
The wind will last as long as the bag is open. There are a few rare
versions of this item which when used aboard a ship will lead a ship to a
specific preset location (a port or an island for example). This has been
used by navies to allow ships to return to port easily and magic user
pirates as a method of finding treasure they have buried on islands.
Dust of Dispelling Air Elementals: When this dust is thrown into the air a
blue field of shimmering energy will emanate from the dust. The dust will
cover a 20′ x 20′ x 15′ area. Each air elemental within the dust must face
a savings throw vs spells at -3. If failed the air elemental is forced to
return to the elemental plane of air. If saved, the creature is
unaffected. There is usually a pouch containing 1d4+5 uses of the dust.
This item doesn’t work on the elemental plane of air.

Potion of Protection from Dragons Breath: adds +4 to savings throw vs
any dragon breath for half or no damage! This is a very rare item made only
on the elemental plane of air. A flask will always contain just one dose.
The potion lasts for only 3-12 rounds.

Sword of Air: +2 weapon, +3 vs elementals, Powers: acts as a necklace
of adaptation if you have it on your person (even if in a scabbard), and
user can see through all fogs, mists, gases, even if they are magical, as if
they are not there. Although the sword must be drawn for the second power
concentration is not required.

Talisman of Proof Against Magic: an ornate necklace worn around the
neck which provides the wearer protection from one type of spell. Each
talisman is created to protect against only one type of magic. Examples of
type of magic are clerical spheres or any of the mages schools, but, only
one type. When a spell of the correct type is cast and the wearer is in the
area of effect, no effect of the spell will effect the wearer (even
beneficial spells). The talisman holds a gem of some high value in it which
is consumed when the user is protected. The talisman will not function
again until the gem is replace with the correct type of gem with a certain
minimum value. It takes at least a turn for a skilled jewellery maker to
replace the gem. The talisman in this adventure protects against Alteration
magic.

The Adventure

The PC thieves are at their local fencer of stolen goods selling their swag.
The fence can’t offer them as much as they want for their swag. To make up
for it he is willing to tell them some information which could make them
richer if they are willing to accept the offer. If they do, he will tell
the PCs about a shipment which came into town yesterday. One of his most
reliable agents spoke of a treasure which was taken to the house of a
wealthy man. Tell the PCs whatever amount of treasure it might take to get
them into the adventure, the treasure should not be reachable by the PCs!
The fence will also remark that the man left town via ship before sunrise
this morning. He suggests that the PCs could have an easy time ripping off
this mark.

Planning stage:

If the PCs investigate who owns the house they will find out the following.
The house is owned by Larthius, a young man who came into town three years
ago. He bought the manse with cash and has not had many problems. Rumours
state that one time a barbarian broke into the manse on a drunken rampage
but was killed by a lion guard. They can confirm that the man left town this
morning. If the PCs are guild members and investigating the owner they will
get the following as well. The owner does not pay the guild protection money
so it is okay to steal from him. About the barbarian, a thief overheard the
barbarian before he went into the manse claiming he once saw the man summon
a flaming demon. Also, a body was found later in the river which appeared
to be the barbarian. It had burns covering the body. The man has been seen
around a few magic component supply stores. A rumour at the guild is that
the guards at his gate in the wall are charmed. The guild will be able to
tell the PCs where the ship was going when it left with the man. It should
take at least 2 days for the man to reach the destination.

The ripoff:

While scouting around the house or when they start to burglarise the place
the PCs meet a fellow thief. The thief will offer the group to join him on
the adventure, and will claim to have scouted the area out and have
information which will make the job easy. The thief states that he has been
hired by an elementalist (a mage who has elemental based spells) to gain an
item from inside. If asked, he will tell them the item is a ring of
elemental command. His boss will pay with magic items if they will hire on
with him (he won’t say what the items are, but, promises the reward will be
worth the effort). He claims to have scouted out the area and needs the aid
of brave thieves. If they refuse the offer he will tell them to leave. If
they get hostile, he will fly away invisible and return to scare them away
with his abilities of illusion. If they accept, he knows all of the outside
layout and of some of the creatures inside. He will seek to avoid combat.
The thief will then tell the players his name “Ah-trah”. Ah-Trah is really a
Djinn. He will try and keep his identity away from the group. He is his
own master!

Ah-Trah will avoid combat and will take the PCs on a specific route. If the
PCs want to explore any other part of the manse the will find it extremely
difficult and VERY LETHAL. Use the following order of rooms, hallways, etc
to get the PCs to the final goal.

*****
Over the Wall: The thieves climb over the wall of the manse into a garden
of strange plants. Ah-trah will warn them that Lions roam the garden.
There is nothing of value here. For encounters in this area roll once on
table A below and twice on Table B. For every 3 turns the PCs hang around
the garden roll again on Table A and B (once each). At the end of the
garden is a large crystal doorway.

Encounters:
Table A: Roll 1d6 1: Shambling Mound, # appearing 1,
2: Stirges, # appearing 2-5;
3-6: Lions, # appearing 1-2;

Table B: roll 1d6: Special effects, sounds, and sights 1: A large red flower is seen quickly snapping at a bat flying by. Upon
missing the bat, the flower appears to open up fully and turn in the PCs
direction.
2: The PCs discover the body of the largest lion they have ever seen. It
appears to have been crushed to death in a bloody fight.
3: Far off in the distance a very evil laughter can be heard. Perhaps the
sound of some summoned demon cheerfully torturing a summoner before taking him
back to the abyss.
4: You hear the sound of a nearby foots steps. If the PCs check they will
find one set of fresh footprints in the soft moist dirt of the garden heading on
the same path they are going. They will not find the person who made these
tracks.
5: The ground opens up below the group. Roll 1d20 + 3. If this is
greater than the PCs dexterity he falls into a hole 15′ deep with 5′ of foul
water in it.
If searched, the PCs will find a piece of leather with marks on it. A
successful read languages will determine: 1) That the marks are those made by
barbarian tribes north of the city. 2) the marks say “”
6: Suddenly, the entire garden goes totally silent. No insects, birds, or
other animals are making any sounds. This lasts for 5 minutes.
*****

The First Room or the Crystal room: Entering from the garden through a
large crystal doorway. This a 20′ x 20′ by 10′ room apparently made from
crystal. There are 2 other doors in the room, one on the west wall one on
the east wall. There are fresh muddy footprints leading to the west exit.
Ah-Trah goes to the west exit.

*****

The First Hallway: A shiny brass hallway,50′ long, can be seen here. The
mud tracks continue here. If the PCs walk in the hall way, the hallway
rings/chimes like dozens of bells or chimes are being hit. Ah-Trah will fly
down the hallway, the PCs must move silently to avoid this noise. If the
PCs check for traps before they enter the hallway, they will discover the
sound property of the hallway. They can’t remove the chiming effect. If
the PCs make noise, the person in the next room will be alerted. If not,
the PCs will by 90% likely to get surprise on him.

*****

The Second Room: This is 15′ x 15′ x 15′ room made of fine quality woods.
Various types of wood have been inlaid in the floor in a beautiful
patterns. On the floor is a pair of mud soaked soft shoes. There are two
other exits in the room. One north, the other West. PCs will go west.
If the PCs surprise the occupant: You see an average looking male elf
dress in fine leather armour sitting on the floor pulling on a pair of
shoes. He is surprised.
If the occupant is alerted: Above the door frame of the door the PCs
entered through is a male elf thief. He climbed up here when he heard the
noise they made. He will observe them to make sure they aren’t guards.
When he is sure they aren’t guards, he will reveal himself.

The thief is named Birnleyas Corinthas. He will ask to merge the two groups
(the PCs group and His group, which is himself) and to split any treasure
gained equally. If the PCs agree, he will join them.

If not, he will pretend to leave down the brass hallway. In a turn he will
come back down. He will follow the group, and when they ENTER the room of
Glass spiders he will drink his potion of speed and attack. He will get to
the PCs 3 rounds after they enter the combat with the glass spiders.

*****
The Second Hallway: Just a normal stone hallway which leads to the room of
Glass Spiders below.

*****

The Room of Glass Spiders: This is a 30′ x 30′ 15′ room made of granite
bricks. Inside the room the PCs see 3 dry corpses on the floor. Try to give
the impression that these are some form of undead, perhaps a strange type of
mummy. There is an exit on the north wall. The room contains glass spiders:
They are invisible spiders with invisible webs. The webs are very thin and
incredibly strong. Once stuck on a web, it can only be removed using wine
or other alcohol. Fire will just cause the webs to melt into a pool of very
stick mess. Magical blades will not stick to these webs. There is one glass
spider for each 2 creatures in the party. Poor amour, medium level, 1
attack per round, Damage 1+ special, Special defence invisibility makes them
much harder to hit in combat, and undetectable otherwise. Special damage is a S.T. VS
poison on the bite, failure causes poison damage of 1d3 per round for 4
rounds. Each bite causes this damage to be cumulative. Effect of the webs:
each round that a creature is fighting within the webs, he will get more
tangled in the webs. This has the effect of causing a cumulative -1 to hit
in combat and -1 to the creatures dexterity per round. When the dexterity
reaches zero, the creature cannot move. There is nothing of value on the
corpses or in the room. Ah-Trah will use his djinni powers in this room of:
Gaseous form to get out of the webs, and create wine to get the party out of
the webs.

*****
The screwy hallway: This hallway corkscrews around. There is nothing of
interest other than that. NOTE: Ah’trahs knowledge of the inside ends here.

*****
Puzzle Room One: The room appears to have only one doorway, which is the
doorway the PC entered through. The room is 30′ x 30′ by 15′ and is made of
large bricks of granite. A large iron balance scale(10′ tall, 10′ wide) can be
seen tilted to the right (unbalanced, there are more bricks in the right pan
than the left pan). In the center of the room is a pile of bricks. Each brick
seems to be exactly the same. Currently there are 11 bricks in the left pan and
24 bricks in the right pan.
Searching the room may find:
If the PC search the pile of bricks carefully (they must voice some strong
interest in it) the might note that most of the 100 bricks here are new and only
a few of them are scratched in anyway.
If the wall behind the scale is looked at it will seem a 12′ x 12′ section
of it is less perfect than the rest of the walls in the room.

TRICK: The scale is a puzzle lock. No PC skill roll (such as pick locks) will
open this lock. To open the lock the scale must be balanced AND have the
correct amount of weight on it. 10 bricks in each pan will open the lock and
open a passageway. The wall section behind the scale will appear to turn into
mud revealing a passage to the next room. Let the PCs have fun trying to get
through this one.

*****
The Hall of Earth: This Hallway appears to be made from a very black claylike
soil. Walking on the ground here feels like your walking on the back of some
large living creature. Nothing else is in the hallway.

*****
Puzzle Room Two: The hallway ends in a room 20′ square on each side. In the
room are two other exits, both exit are on the walls adjacent to the wall where
the PCs entered the room. So Three of the four walls have exits. If searched
for, there are normal chances to find the secret door on the forth wall. To open
the secret door, both locks on the other two doors must be unlocked in the same
round. A knock spell cast over both doors will open it, but, not if cast on the
secret door alone(the mechanisms are the two locks on the doors). By the way,
the locks reset each round, so one thief with picks can’t do it. Behind the two
doors are walls of solid granite. The secret door lead to the small hallway.

*****
The small hallway: This hallway is only 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide. After the
party enters the secret door closes. At the other end of the hallway, embedded
in the wall, is a wall safe with a combination lock. This is a false safe!
When the party gets near the safe or opens the safe, the floor of the hallway
rotates downward creating a chute to the next room.
*****

The final Room: The party lands in a smoke filled room. Small fires can be
dimly seen about. A loud evil laughter can be heard from above, and a voice
rings out “Another Group of fools to feed my hunger, I shall enjoy sucking
the marrow from your bones and making toothpicks from your souls” The room
goes quiet, and now the party sees before them a large demonic figure
dripping of oozes. This is an illusion, caused by the Efreeti. If the PCs
attack it, it will be dispelled revealing an enlarged(by 200%) Efreeti
standing in a mass of swirling fire and bright energy. Within the energy
field is a large golden ring. This is the ring Ah’Trah seeks. The ring is
also protected by the energy field which disappears when the efreeti is
killed. The field prevents the ring from moving by any means (wishes
included). It is impossible to get to the ring without killing the efritti!
The field covers the ring and flows to the efreeti. This prevents the
efreeti from going gaseous or invisible. Touching the energy field causes
heavy damage unless able to reduce the effect of a magical attack. The
flames around the Efreeti cause medium burning damage unless able to reduce
the effect of a magical attack.

If Birnleyas Corinthas is still with the group, he will avoid combat and try
to steal the ring by touching the energy field.

When the efreeti dies the energy field dies with him, leaving the ring free
to grab. The party will also discover a large diamond in the wall at this
point. Touching the diamond causes the toucher to Teleport to the Crystal
Room mentioned above. If Birnleyas Corinthas is still alive at this

point(in the crystal room), he will take his potion of extra healing (if not
used already) and attack the group. If he wins, the party is over. If not,
goto What Could Happen below.

What could happen after the adventure is over.

*****
* 1 *
*****

If Ah’Trah and the group find the ring of elemental command he will
offer to take the ring back to his master and will give them each a magic
ring of many wishes (2 wishes per ring) as payment. After they accept this
offer, Ah-Trah reveals his true form, laughs a lot and asks them to drop by
if they are ever on the plane of air (they are life friends).

*****
* 2 *
*****

If the group argues with him or asks to go to his masters place he will
place a bag of beans on the floor and fly away. If the group attacks him
manages to kill him after this they will find only his weapons, the
elemental ring of Elemental Command (AIR) will be gone! Killing him will
give the group enemy on the elemental plane of air, who will send an air
elemental after them once every 1d12 months. Re-roll a new 1d12 months after
each occurrence. The bag of beans will have 8 beans. * FIRST BEAN PLANTED will cause the ground to rumble and a large mound of clay to
rise out of the ground. It hardens in a round then starts to crack and fall to
pieces. Suddenly, a clay golem attacks the nearest party member if in sight.
If none are visible it will rampage the area. NOTE: don’t forget the special
rules for healing wounds from a clay golem!
* SECOND BEAN PLANTED in a 30′ by 30′ area many bamboo plants shoots up out of the
ground each will 6 to 20 feet tall. Damage 6d8 S.T. vs dexterity -4 for half
damage. If the group cuts down the 6′ long bamboo tree in the center they will
have a staff of wonder(25 charges). The tree radiates magic and must be cut
down before 1 turn elapses after it grows or all its charges are depleted.
* THIRD BEAN PLANTED: When planted and watered this bean will cause a large cloud
of black gas to appear within a 20′ radius of the bean. If the cloud is entered
you will be blinded (until cure blindness is cast on the character) and then
attacked by an invisible stalker. If the stalker wins, it will leave. If it is
killed, a triple Hit die double damage Stalker will haunt the nearest town until
killed. Whoever kills the second Stalker (the actual killing blow, use
individual initiative.) permanently gains the ability to attack any creature
whose origin is from the elemental plane of air without needing a magic weapon
to hit. Only one character gains this ability! DO NOT TELL THE PLAYER ABOUT
THIS POWER!
* FOURTH BEAN PLANTED: a pedestal appears out of nowhere and has several buttons,
switches, and levers. It will last for 2 hours then vanishes as suddenly as it
came. The buttons, switches, and levers have various effects. Some good, most
bad!
* FIFTH BEAN PLANTED: Nothing appears to happen. But if the bean is dug up a
chest will be found. They won’t find the bean! In the chest is a magical censor
with a magic rune on it. If read magic is used, the rune appears to say “Summon
and Be Commanded”. It is a censor of summoning hostile air elementals of the
strongest type.
* SIXTH BEAN PLANTED: a tree grows out of the ground. The fruit it bears
resembles diamonds. Every round several of the diamonds fall to the ground a
shatter, any picked by hand are normal diamonds valued at 1000 GP. 1d4 diamonds
can be picked per round by a character and there 25 diamonds in all. The GM
will tell players getting the diamond that they feel that they own all the
diamonds and should not share them with others. 3 turns after the tree appears,
anyone who picked a diamond will be quested (no Savings Throw! They lost the
chance to save by voluntarily grasping the diamonds.) to go to the nearest
temple of air (or other good church) and donate several magic items for
forgiveness (sin of greed) or they must volunteer for a quest or they can avoid
this if they are not ever greedy again (I mean be non materialistic! They must
be generous and give to charities any extra money. etc… Let them know what
their punishment will be if they fail!). If they choose the last and they fail
to be non-greedy, they will be punished by losing all their possessions (where
ever they maybe).
* SEVENTH BEAN PLANTED: in a 50′ radius of the bean 50 bookworms appear out of the
ground (good luck! HOPE YOUR MAPS or spell books DON’T GET EATEN!).
* EIGHTH BEAN PLANTED: a large hole (25 radius 50′ deep) appears. A very old
large white dragon is in the hole. It will attack directly and without much
thinking (it has been trapped for 100+ years and is very pissed!). It’s
treasure hoard is at the bottom of the hole and has normal non-magical treasure
plus the following: a wand of secret door and trap locating, a potion of
animal control, a potion of human control, a potion of frost giant control, a
potion of frost giant strength, a map to a girdle of frost giant strength which
can only be read by the first fighter or thief who tries to read it.

*****
* 3 *
*****

If the group finds out Ah-Trah’s true form (and Ah-Trah knows they know
his true form) before the ring is discovered, he will deny it and when the
group finds the ring will reward them with the following items: a ring of
feather falling, a flying carpet, 2 potions of gaseous form, a bag of the
winds, and a ring of 2 limited wishes (to be used for healing he says
firmly). He will not invite them to visit him on his plane in this case!

*****
* 4 *
*****

If Ah-Trah dies during the adventure, he will go back to the elemental
plane of air. The players are on their own. If they manage to get the ring
they will be approached by an agent of Ah-Trah’s very soon. In exchange for
the selling the ring they will each get a choice of one of the following
items (a maximum of 4 items for the group and no more than 1 per character,
no duplicate items): 1) a ring of three wishes(limited).
2) a carpet of flying.
3) a scroll of one spell, player’s choice from any spell in the books.
4) Sword of Air: see description in the text.
5) Pouch filled with Dust of Dispelling Air Elementals(6 uses): See description.
6) Potion of protection from dragons breath: see description
7) ring of flying.
8) ring of feather falling.
9) Talisman of Proof from Magic (Alteration): See description.


*****
* 5 *
*****

If the PCs die in the fight with the Efreeti, but, Ah’Trah wins and gets the
ring. He will use his wishing powers to bring the PCs back to life. The
wishing will be done back on Ah’Trahs home plane. The PCs will not have any
possessions from before. The wishing will be their reward. Some GMs might
give the PCs some other rewards as well, but, giving them their lives seems
good. Also, there will be a party in the players honor with many air
elemental types in attendance.

================================================================================
Gold Transport
Richard ?
LPR100@psuvm.psu.edu

Short
Any
Guarding
Any

From one place to another (fill in any appropriate places of your world)
goes a huge gold-transport (make up the reason yourself). The PC can act in
many ways: 1) As guards. (Prepare Transport, Guard Transport, Discover Plots
against Transport, etc) 2) As Robbers (!!?!, The transport is of a bad
guys?)

================================================================================
Short plots
Mike Whitaker
MikeW@sdl.mdcbbs.com

Medium
Any
Affliction
Quest
Intrigue
Any

Well, there’s the standard “save the world” goal… I’ve run a few of these
kind of campaigns, and I’ve found, as I acquire experience at it, that the
focus of this kind of campaign has switched from “‘Da Bad Guy’ is
threatening to destroy the world – kill him” (I’m sure it’s everybody’s
first mega-plot) to a more complex and involved kind of plot, in which the
players don’t get handed things on a plate… Ask my PBeM party!

Another classic is the ‘recurring enemy’. The low level players
offend/thwart a petty villainess in her first tentative steps towards a
master plan (say, trying to take over a small merchant house in the city).
Villainess is mightily p**sed at this, and proceeds to be a thorn in the
party’s side for the next ten levels, gaining experience and power as they
do. Throw in a fatal fascination or two (she is mightily smitten with the
party’s paladin, say) or even a family link (one of the party’s a relative
of hers) just to add spice, stir well….

Similar to that is the “all-pervasive’ enemy, a mysterious shadowy
organisation (say a slave dealing ring) with minor political aspirations
that seems to be everywhere. In the early stages, about one in every two
adventures the party has is generated one way or another by this group, and
slowly the party begins to put two and two together, until at higher level
they are seeking to wipe out this organisation…

Or how about the vengeance quest – an NPC close to the PC’s is killed, and
the PC’s seek vengeance, following the trail of the NPC’s killer through
various places, organisations etc..

Hey, I just thought (I’m typing this on the fly): Combine all four…. NPC
close to PCs is killed because she found out too much about the all
pervasive organisation (APO). PCs start on the vengeance trail, and
inadvertently thwart the recurring villainess (RV) on the way. APO recruits
RV (they share a common cause of wanting the PC’s out of the way) – better,
APO assist RV without revealing that they are the APO. Also da bad guy (DBG)
is using APO to further his plans for world domination, plans which RV
doesn’t necessarily agree with when she finds out (although it may take the
PCs time to discover this (they may think she works for the APO), and also
to find out what it will take to make her change sides – maybe the NPC is a
relative and the RV mistakenly blames the PCs for her death). Maybe factions
of the APO don’t agree with DBG’s plan either…

================================================================================
Ship of Undead
Stephen McLeod
mehawk@reed.edu

Short
Fantasy
Quest
Ship

Player has to go on a quest to visit the high holy spot of their Good
deity. In the course of the trip during a sea voyage they are beset upon by
a ship of the undead. Given that the ship’s complement is unbeatable, they
disable it at the helm or rudder and leave it to crash on the reefs.
Continue on with visiting the nice deity and when they finally arrive after
whatever other challenges you choose to put in their path (I used lots of
spirit things, including ghosts of monsters they had recently defeated and
of dead friends) they are told by the deity/priests that tho their actions
were commendable they must finish their business with the undead ship. It
seems that since it has grounded on the reefs whatever eldritch energies
went into powering it are now slowly puncturing a hole to the plane of the
undead. In my version, the ship is half filled with water and as the waves
pass over/through it the battles got very messy. In the end it was a second
wheel below decks that was the focus of the power, manned by a gent cursed
for killing women and children on a particular ship he plundered.

================================================================================
Wierdness in Klingon Space
Michael Sandy
mehawk@reed.edu

Short
Sci-Fi
Quest
Space

For weird, have them get a message from StarFleet to patrol into Klingon Space,
(maximum priority command etc…)
Once inside Klingon space, they are no longer able to communicate with Fed
Space, (but may not realize this for a while under comm silence), and discover
no Klingon signals either.

Have them meet another curious ship from another culture which doesn’t know
what’s going on either. For extra weird, have that ship vaguely resemble the
ship they are in, but with identifiable differences…

Other ways it could turn out:

Actually, it was all the result of a botched experiment in a SuperCloaking
device that temporarily shifted the Klingon Empire out of time for two weeks,
four days, and seventeen minutes from mark…

And now they’re back! With several curious Romulan, Fed, and other ships
hovering over their capital planet…

================================================================================
Treasure Inn
Phil Scadden
P.Scadden@gns.cri.nz

Long
Fantasy
Any
Quest
Building

This plot is a low-combat (no combat hopefully) test of the players ingenuity
and other skills. It described for a medieval period but could easily be
transported into most settings.

Outline: The players have a treasure map for stolen gold but on finding the
place, discover an inn has been built over the spot where the gold is buried.
The map describes the location of the treasure as 20 paces towards the river
from a gnarled willow, 2 feet beneath a large flat stone. This is now
manifestly beneath a room in the corner of an inn built on the river flat. The
room is dirt-floored and windowless, being used by the innkeeper as a holding
cell for guests that have exceeded their capacity somewhat and are in need of
protection, or have become belligerent and a nuisance to other customers. The
innkeeper is scrupulously honest and does not “roll” such guests but will
extract payment for any damages. The underground cellar of the inn narrowly
missed uncovering the gold, being under the adjoining room and an excavation
from the near wall would find the treasure after only a few feet of digging. On
the other hand, the innkeeper is not in the habit of letting guests into his
cellar!

Background detail. This outline is particularly set up for characters who have
set themselves up as “the good guys” as it potentially involves an ethical
dilemma if your players enjoy such things.
Location. The Inn is situated on a route junction where a side stream
enters the main river. 2 days up river is the city where the gold originated.
The main route enters a hard gorged section of road below the inn and 6 further
days of travel brings the route to a major port city. The other route continues
up the side stream and over a low pass after a long day’s travel in lonely
country. Another day’s travel is required to arrive at the small sea port where
the characters will start from. This port town has grown enormously in the last
12 years since a pirate kingdom was destroyed allowing trade to flourish in the
southern ocean. Consequently this side route has grown much more important
allowing the inn to flourish. The innkeeper was a smithy by trade and his
services are valued by travellers. The inn stands by itself with no neighbours
or other business in very underpopulated country which makes it something of an
oddity in the world setting.
History. The gold is a booty from a raid on a goldsmith’s shop in the up-
river city 13 years ago. It was a bulk purchase to be shared with other
goldsmiths in the guild and was guarded by an apprentice whom the thief killed,
leaving a widow and 3 children. The thief ran into trouble though with a lame
horse near the inn site, and with the hue and cry close on his tail, he buried
the gold under a large flat stone before fleeing up the then little-used trail
to the small port. He covered his digging further by piling all the excavated
earth (a distinctive red) onto his cloak, then emptying it bushes nearby. His
luck really ran out though when he arrived at the small port and was arrested by
the guard for an earlier murder and was summarily executed. He did however have
time to make the treasure map and gave it to his lover, mother of his 2 year old
son. She would not have a bar of what she correctly guessed was stolen gold
though but is now very sick (beyond the means of the characters to cure). Her
son, now 15, is desperate to help her and has approached the party with the map.
They could be relatives or friends of a party member and the gold would be used
to buy a cure.
In the provost’s party, pursuing the thief was the murdered apprentice
goldsmith’s brother, a journeyman blacksmith. The party stopped at the route
junction on finding the lame horse while woodsmen in the party tried to find
which route the thief had taken. Answering a call of nature in the bushes, he
found the pile of red earth but told the provost nothing. After it was
discovered that the thief had already been executed but without any gold being
found, he made a shrewd guess about what the thief had done, but failed realise
that the earth had been moved into the bushes which he now turned over in what
rapidly became an obsession. To cover his activities, he built a small smithy to
service travellers coming up the gorge road, which soon became augmented by an
inn as the trade in the southern ocean made the route to the port town more
important while his digging was unfruitful. He even now hasn’t given up on
finding the treasure though he seldom is actively digging. His strange obsession
(which he wont reveal) means there are light-hearted stories about him searching
for a rainbow’s end, told at his expense by frequent travellers stopping at his
inn. The innkeeper is well-liked and married when his obsession cooled, now
having 5 children helping around the inn. He has also taken in his brothers
destitute widow and children who help out about the inn. The widow helps cook
and brew but this is a bitter come-down from her expectations in marriage to a
goldsmith and she frets for her 16 year-old daughter now serving behind the bar.
Her older sons are competent smiths under the innkeeper’s teaching. The family
all share the secret about the possibility of gold buried nearby but none take
this seriously.
The challenge for the players is compounded by fact that it would be very
unusual for anyone to stay more than 1 night so 2 nights without an obvious
excuse. This will result in some pretty blunt queries and suspicion of “casing
the joint” from people used to fending for themselves in an isolated spot.
Stories about the innkeeper’s strange diggings will be easily heard but no
one suspects what he is after. A reasonable number of people, many on very good
terms with the keeper will be present on any night, though all will be passing
through.

If players come up with an ingenious scheme for getting the gold out and clear,
then good for them but I would be likely exploit any weakness in their plans to
set up a confrontation with the keeper and the widow. They are very unlikely to
try force unprovoked but will certainly put forward an impassioned case for
their rights to the gold – better life for daughter and sons, years of graft,
etc. Obsessions can be dangerous things though …

================================================================================
We Go To War
Phil Scadden
P.Scadden@gns.cri.nz

Long
Fantasy
Quest
Guarding
Wilderness
Rural
Castle

Involving players in a war is a pretty sure way to ensure a high combat session
or three. The problem is dealing with effect of a few players in a very large
battlefield. This can be done, but limiting players to attempting “key
objectives” is a good way to control the play. This approach is certainly helped
by a scenario that puts the player characters under the eye of a senior NPC.
Outlined below is an example of players involvement in a short war. In some
parts the players will be caught up in events; in others they have options not
to participate. The events assume both player participation and success right
through and is offered as a possible model that can obviously be modified and
improvised indefinitely. Note that in fact much the player involvement was from
their own ideas. I would always present the situation and see what they do with
it before offering “missions” in guise of a commander. While the events will
unroll whatever the player’s action really, it should help their enjoyment to
give tons of feedback on the effect of their actions (good and bad) so they feel
in the centre of activities.

1- First action: assumes the players are mounted. As they approach a road in a
border area, they will notice the odd refugee and ragged army groups on foot
moving away. A grim-looking senior army officer or noble is driving two carts
loaded with incendiaries (oil, naphtha, resin-soaked straw) against the flow.
Questioning anyone will tell of a massive invasion that has pushed in the border
garrisons. The cart commander will request the party assistance, since they are
mounted, in destroying a bridge over a nearby major river. The idea here is to
give the party exposure to a key NPC. The bridge is easily set ready to burn,
but the commander will delay the firing till last minute, allowing as many as
possible of the fleeing garrison troops across first. The border itself is a
mountain ridge and in one to two hours, companies of the invading army will be
seen in the distance on tops of the foothills. A largish company of defenders,
well armed and moving in good order is sighted but suddenly a company of the
cavalry from the enemy vanguard appears. A race to the bridge ensures with the
commander uneasily preparing to fire it. When only hundred metres away, it is
clear the race will be lost and the defenders turn at bay to face the cavalry.
Alone, they are outnumbered and lost, but they look capable … ? If the party
goes to assist, they may well swing the balance but the commander will
definitely fire the bridge rather than risk it being taken should the fight go
badly … After 4 rounds of combat, the enemy will suddenly be aware of the
risk of the bridge and try to disengage so as to rush it instead.

2- Under siege: The border defences have fallen back on a powerful fortress,
built in the rough terrain of a mountain range (other side of the valley),
protecting the road to the capital. The enemy army cannot forage through here so
must neutralise the fortress to protect the supply line. The commander of the
fortress however has discerned that the enemy has split with a force going down
valley and the long way round to take the capital by surprise or at least
prevent relief of the fortress. He decides to take a large force of mountain-
hardy locals through less-known routes to harry and hopefully stop this thrust
but this will leave the fortress very lightly manned. Players will not be locals
so will remain in the fortress. The man they helped at the bridge now commands
the fortress and will request them so they can help him with any ideas to make
it seem the fortress has more men than it really has. The enemy army has been
delayed crossing the river but all too soon they arrive. The fortress’ outer
wall has no moat but is too high for scaling ladders or grapples. The gate is
both powerful and a cunningly made death-trap. It opens into a gated courtyard
that would quickly be a killing ground if the main gate is forced.

Early stage ideas:
Players discover enemy magicians using some levitation or flying power in an
attempt to fix ropes on the wall.
A magically- or psionically- powerful party might like to battle enemy sorcerers
from spying, attempting to kill the commander etc.
Enemy might attempt parley with some bribe the GM knows might tempt the party.

Serious stuff: With no easy way in, the enemy gets constructing. Siege towers go
up which are well protected with fire-proofing to the front (ie water-soaked
wool, constantly dowsed). There are not enough forces inside to properly defend
the wall from these so this is serious. After anxiously watching a few days, the
commander decides a night-sally to fire them from behind is needed as they near
completion. A very powerful party might attack several, otherwise they will be
one of several parties sent out at midnight to attack. If one of several, they
will have to address coordination of the attacks.

3- Relief: The old commander’s gamble pays off and he successfully grinds the
flanking force to a halt and by message has warned the prince of it. He now
hurries back, while the prince sends most of his cavalry to engage this much-
delayed enemy and is able to gather a large relieving infantry force to aid the
fortress. The fortress gains hope from sudden movement in the enemy camps as a
defensive line is marshalled at right angle to the fortress to meet the threat.
Battle is joined but the fortress takes no part to begin with to avoid risk of
losing the gate. A sally force is prepared though and party is expected to be in
it. The arrival of the old commander with the remnants of his force at midday
forces the enemy flank so their line is slowly turned with its back to the
fortress. The enemy standard is right is front of the gate when the Prince
launches a furious attack on the centre. It is time for the sally. The players
are detailed to bring down the standard, others will chase the enemy general.
For a powerful party, the standard will be defended by enemies champions. The
standard will also be protected by anti-magic spells and possibly a duty
sorcerer.
If the players succeed, then the enemy army will collapse into a rout, though
the Prince doesn’t have cavalry to exploit this much. If they fail, the enemy
will withdraw in good order though this probably wont interest the player
characters much. πŸ™‚
This scenario throws the players into a full-scale battle with a specific goal
and few gaming systems have rules for this so here are my ideas. The trick for
the GM is to create the battle about the players in an interesting way without
setting up a wargame table. I think the “fog of war” makes this possible – the
GM only has to describe the action in the immediate area about the players. You
can use the following table of results for a 6 sided dice to help lubricate the
imagination, thrown every few combat rounds. 1 Appearance of cavalry at charge range.
2 Troops on a flank of players collapse.
3 Troops appear to the rear.
4 Missile troops come to support
5 Infantry reinforcements come
6 A Champion arrives
Throw a D10 to determine whether the result is good is our bad (ie whether it is
friendly or enemy cavalry, friends or enemy that collapse at the flank etc.)
Since battle is going the way of the Prince then 1-4 means bad and 5-10 means
good. Adjust as required for any battle balance.
The second question about battles like this concerns battlefield morale
of NPC units both fighting the player characters and on the flanks. The GM might
just rule their morale in any way that makes the game interesting, but here are
some simple morale rules that can be used where gaming system doesn’t provide.
Rate NPC quality from 1 (fanatics) to 18 ( 14 year old conscripts).
NPC forces check morale when: * When about to engage enemy or on arrival of new enemy
* At every round when they are losing a fight
* When neighbouring friends are routed, (this can cascade)
Throw 3 dice:
add 1 for – secure flanks and rear (friends on three sides)
– champion or general in charge
– winning the fight
– charging
– every enemy unit seen routing in last and current round
– an enemy champion seen killed in last or current round
subtract 1 for – insecure rear
– every friendly unit seen routing in last and current round
– general or standard lost in last or current round
– a champion killed in last or current round
– being charged
-facing magical attack (including melee contact with lycanthropes)
-facing undead, golems or similar mindless opponents
– every 25% of unit or hit points (as appropriate) lost
(ie 50% lost is -2)
The last modifier only really can apply to NPC units in actually fighting
players – not to imaginary neighbouring units though the GM can adjudicate some
loses if dicing for them. Personally, I never check morale for flank units and
guess something fun but think it adds to game to check morale for the NPC that
the players face.
If the resultant score is less than the morale value then the unit routs. Use
any other reality appropriate (ie ensorcelled NPCs are like undead they never
check for morale).

Back to plots …

4- Impasse: The enemy has recrossed the river further down and linked with
remnants of the abortive flanking attack. They are growing in strength as
reinforcements arrive and rafts are constructed. Neither side can easily attack
the other across the river. The enemy has set up in a patch of high ground on a
river bend and the ground both up and down river is mostly swamps and marshes,
providing secure flanks. However, the swamps also preclude any foraging so the
enemy is dependent on the supply lines through the mountain border. The Prince
needs to dislodge the enemy from this ground though he suspects the swamps will
bring disease into the enemy camp before long but he faces the same risk. It is
decided to send spare strength across the river in small units to attack the
supply line and reinforcements. The party is asked to be one such group and
attack the supply line for as long as they can do reasonable damage safely.
The first part of the trip once over the river higher up is to avoid enemy
screening cavalry though these will be thinly spread. Increase the chance of a
siting by day compared to night. The rough hill country leading back to the
border will provide many suitable bases in form of caves (which may house the
odd monster) or secluded bushy glens. (Describe the country to the party and
then dice for finding a suitable occurrence every watch). A good map of rough
hill country will help enormously if you prefer to play this more detail (better
still, use a real map of an area you know well as this makes the description
much more vivid and helpful)

The supply line will at first be very lightly guarded. The party might encounter
in a day: say on a D6 (adjust for strength of party). * 1-2 – 2-6 supply wains with armed escort of 2-8 of low grade soldiers
* 3 – reinforcement group consisting of 3-6 men-at-arms with very low
morale levy of 16-24. (The best troops were with the original
force)
* 4 – cavalry patrol of 8-10 riders
* 5 – 1-2 wains going other way with wounded, guarded by walking wounded.
* 6 – messenger on good horse. (Boring messages though … )
There is only light traffic, so 1/6 chance of one of the above per watch.
A 1/10 chance could be rolled for two groups instead of one within on the road
within hailing distance. The reinforcement groups are modelled on feudal levy –
a few proper fighting men from a lord’s following with a troop of untrained and
uninterested peasants. These could be expected to break if the men-at-arms are
defeated.

After a week of raiding, the supply line will get better guarded. In second
week, the reinforcements will travel with the wains, so matrix could be: * 1-3 supply and reinforcements as above
* 4-5 cavalry
* 6 messenger
In third week, the supply will move in convoy * 1-3 4-12 supply wains with 30-50 of levy
* 4-6 cavalry patrols of 10-15 riders
At this point, the party can probably do little more and should return.

On return, they should find the enemy has succumbed to poor food and disease and
has pulled back with the Prince preparing to pursue. Another battle could be
fought in the hills, weighed heavily in the Prince’s favour, if the party hasn’t
done too well.

5 – Victory: This scenario is for a swashbuckling style with fast combat and
more concern for fun than realism at its deadliest. The enemy invasion is broken
and has fallen back inside its own border but the Prince has decided to press
the attack to annihilate the threat once and for all. The remaining enemy army
is now besieged in a fortress town, just inside the border while the Prince
demands handing over of the leaders and laying down of all arms. He judges he
probably has enough strength to carry the walls by assault though the cost will
be high. They learn (a prisoner, traitor, magical?) however of a drain leading
from inside the fortress into a moat that protects part of the wall. It is large
enough for a person to crawl through but involves swimming underwater to its
entrance and making the first part of the crawl underwater. (This is possible on
one breath but should require a difficult skill throw to avoid panic). An
initial scouting will reveal that the other end is blocked by an iron grille and
patrols move past the entrance very regularly. However, the Prince is planning a
pre-dawn assault on the walls anyway, and it seems that a party could slip out
of the drain unnoticed in the confusion of the attack and hopefully open the
gate. A certain element of trust is probably going to be necessary here for the
player to take this on πŸ™‚ – perhaps they would prefer siege ladders and burning
oil? Best of all is let coax the players into thinking up the scheme themselves.
(ie. they can be the bearers of the information about the drain to the prince,
discuss it with “him,” etc).
Assuming they take it on, they will need a means of opening the grille which
should be provided by the Prince if the party has not the means. A means of
breaking iron will come handy later too.
The wall has a structure of buildings on the inner side providing rooms for
archers to use arrow slits, stores of defensive equipment, stairs, access
passages and barracks. A good map of these (making up three levels, mostly one
room wide, two at the base) is needed. The drain grille will open into a ‘room’,
three sided and open to the inner court where the sewer ditch comes in. No
access to any other rooms in the level. It will be a reasonable distance from
the gate. The gatehouse itself will be on the middle level and accessible only
from an internal passage past barracks on this level.
So how do the players find fun instead of sudden death for their characters? My
approach was to play this as a series of running fights, with the players
thinking up every means of deception they could and thoroughly inventive spell
use. It is dark and confusion reigns with people running everywhere. The players
will encounter various groups soldiers, newly waken, rushing to man the wall on
the most part, parties carrying supplies of torches to help light the wall,
slaves carrying barrels of oil for throwing on attackers, messengers, comrades
assisting wounded off the wall etc. On encountering enemy, they will
automatically assume that part of the wall has been taken. They probably will
fight but only briefly if the party is getting upper hand, whereupon they will
turn and flee, calling for reinforcements. The party should be forced into every
trick in the book to delay or ward off pursuers – give the party plenty of
feedback that these are working. If they adopt disguise, then they should
encounter a captain who tells them to follow him – away from the gatehouse :-).
Of course, unless you have decided the enemy in non human, then they probably
will be mistaken for friends anyway unless they announce themselves as enemy.

The gatehouse will only have at most two occupants – they weren’t anticipating
needing the machinery at the moment! The gate itself is a counterweighted
drawbridge, operated by a chain windlass. It will take some time (say six
rounds) to lower the gate by windlass and it is not much use till it is
completely down. The defenders will notice the moment it begins to lower and the
party will find things very hot at the gatehouse door very quickly. Of course,
if the chain holding the counterweights is broken, the drawbridge will open very
suddenly. A picture of apparatus might help your players. There is but one
entrance to the gatehouse which probably will be crowded by enemy with the gate
down, but players could squeeze through the gatekeeper’s watch window – a 20′
jump into the moat. If any of your players fancies a glorious character death
then now is probably a great moment.

================================================================================
Becoming A Tribal Warrior
Phil Scadden
P.Scadden@gns.cri.nz

Medium
Fantasy
Quest
Wilderness
Rural

A tribal group that the party wants something from (eg. horses, specialised
bows, arcana) will only deal “Fingers of the Fist”. Ie, at least one member of
the party must successfully prove themselves as a tribal warrior for which there
is a traditional initiation. The traditional fighting band is the five strong
“Fist”, consisting of “fingers” (initiated warriors) and led by a “thumb” – the
eldest finger.

Normally tribesmen would go through initiation at 14-16 years old, so the
procedure shouldn’t be too dangerous but they may embellish the procedure
somewhat for outsiders. This can be used as to make use of some less frequently
used stats, eg. a rough ride to test horsemanship. A test of pain endurance
should be part of it. Tattooing or branding are obvious and could use things
like max-hit-points, constitution, mental stamina, stats for the test. A test
concealed to the players could be made by an estimate of the no. of times the
character has been wounded. While having limited playing interest, the resulting
brand might led to interesting plot developments “back home”. A more interesting
component of the test could be a stealing mission: a central totem of some kind
in the tribal villages is generally surrounded by curious pottery votive bowls.
The design of these bowls being distinctive to each village. The task is sneak
into a neighbouring village and pinch a bowl. Since the tribes live pretty much
at peace, spilling of blood much more than a bloody nose would be severely
frowned on and likely to cause blood feud. (The party may or may not be told
this depending on how you might like to develop this). This is naturally a game
played by the younger tribes people and the night guard on the totems would only
be 13-14, on possibly a new “finger”. Their preferred “weapon” against would-be
raiders is a foul yellow dye that takes a week or so to wear off. A person
marked with such a dye, would be a general laughing stock. A daylight raid would
be considered very daring though no especial guard is placed on the totem at day
and entry to the village could be gained on some other pretext.

The test should conclude with combat. Suggested is tackling a suitable large
predator – but with no armour etc., and only a dagger for a weapon.

An enemy (may be a monster as well as human) killed in honourable combat (ie the
enemy had a chance), may qualify the “finger” for a silver ring awarded by a war
council of “thumbs”. An extension of the plot here might be an incident that
lets the players become Ringed Fingers.

================================================================================
“Wolves” On The Pass
Phil Scadden
P.Scadden@gns.cri.nz

Long
Fantasy
Guarding
Road
Wilderness
Mountain

As a plot this is pretty sketchy, but is hopefully an antidote to the “wandering
monster” syndrome. Ie. “You meet monster x.” “We beat the stuffing out of it,
then proceed.” The idea is use weather and fatigue rules plus the wolves to
provide a night of high tension and brainstorming but perhaps surprisingly
little combat.

The idea is to get a trading mule-train over a broad mountain pass to the
plain’s people beyond as early in the season as possible. High profit is assured
by being the first trader of the season through, ahead of any big caravans. The
mountain pass is fast way through which a mule train of light, high-value goods
(ie spices, salt, liquors, specialised textiles) can exploit, returning later in
safety with first choice of furs and winter craft-goods in exchange. The players
may be doing it this on their own account if sufficient organised, or may be
paid as escorts. Either way, their return should be proportional to the number
of mules brought safely through the mountains. The hazards are cold and wolves,
though some rarer nasties might come into play. Instead of a single encounter,
the wolves will dog the party all the way, avoiding a fight but occasionally
making rushes in hope of panicking a horse or mule loose. They also will worry
the party at night, calling fatigue rules into play. Wind, rain and cold will
also take there toll, hampering defence efforts. I find turns of 3 hours from
6am to 6pm, and 4 hours from 6pm to 6am to be good for this type adventure.
Also, I wouldnt bother with the tedium of mule/horse v. wolves fights. Assume
that the wolves are opportunist and 4-8 will rush an opening. If it goes
well, then more will join in. Give the wolves a 1/6 say (better if mobility
reduced etc) per combat round of bringing down a mule if not interfered
with. Will retire immediately if resisted. If defenders say all go to protect
say the tail of train, then good chance that another group of wolves will
seize chance to attack elsewhere. The very first attack can be full-scale
(all the wolves) but wont last more than 4 rounds (probably less – as long
as it takes to realise that mules are defended). It will with luck πŸ™‚ though
panic your magic users into wasting a lot of power that they will have trouble
regaining.

The wolves should perhaps be in inverted commas – because I don’t know or care
whether the behaviour I’m describing is “realistic” (not being part of the New
Zealand ecology!). Call them something else appropriate to your world if need
be. The party will pick up a wolf pack early in the piece. The pack is very
hungry though certainly not suicidally so, having unsuccessfully chased their
normal prey (deer or something else suitable) over the pass. They are NOT
interested in the humans, being too prickly for the amount of meat to warrant
the trouble unless conditions are very favourable. They are however very
attracted by the mules which they can easily outrun especially when laden with
about 200lb of goods. Any horses are also very good game in heavy snow, though
they will outrun wolves on hard ground. Attacking animals they will attempt to
hamstring or take out the jugular. Faced with humans, they will generally
withdraw, out of missile range if necessary. A human isolated even temporarily
from others will be game however provided odds of at least 4 to 1 can be brought
to bear. Wolves to the front will “face off” keeping out of weapon reach but
feinting lunges to help the attackers from behind. These will attempt
hamstringing, or a knock-down followed by worrying to the neck. At any concerted
attack on them, they will fade, especially if one their no. is hurt or killed.
They will eat their own dead quite happily when safe to do so. The pack animals
will be frightened and likely to bolt with each attack. Some kind of beast-
mastery/horsemanship should be tested on each occurrence unless the party have
devised foolproof tethering. If the wolves successfully get an animal, then the
party will have a respite of several hours. The attack will end when either the
wolves have eaten about one animal between two/three; they have lost a quarter
of their number; or easier game presents itself. (GM could be dicing for this or
just pretending – bring on the other animals when the party has had enough).

Weather can be manipulated gloriously in this scenario:
Wind should make all missile-fire difficult. Rain should affect bowstrings and
visibility.
Cold should affect all manual skills at very least.
Snow should affect mobility.

Here is an example crossing: A successful weather-forecasting will tell bad
weather on way, but they should clear the pass if hurried. Snow is encountered
in patches as the party climb through sparse timber – and suddenly they have a
wolf pack about them making good use of the cover to avoid missiles etc. while
making occasional lunges. (1 per turn at most). The sparse timber gives way to
thorn scrub as evening comes and party will take severe cold effects if they do
not camp here. Fire is possible but the timber disappears as thorn-scrub gives
way to snow-covered grasses and rock higher up. It gets very cold during the
night and the wolves make lunging attacks 1-2 per turns. The idea here is the
party becomes fatigued, spell-users cant replenish power etc. As each attack is
met, the wolves will melt back into the night, gathering in again an hour or so
later.

The next day bodes bad weather as the wind rises and the sky darkens. As the
party trudge through heavy snow they should take further cold and fatigue
minuses while the rising wind will play havoc with missile fire. If they turn
back, then a heavy snowstorm will block the pass for nearly two weeks, while a
forecasting will still indicate they can cross before the storm hits. The wolves
are unencumbered and will tread quickly over the icy surface on the snow. They
will only attack 2-3 times today, but will aim at the horses. The broad pass,
fortunately relatively safe from avalanches, will be crossed in the late
afternoon and the storm gathers fury. The snow is not so deep on the southern
side and large rock formations and boulders make numerous sheltering points not
far down the southern side. GM might like some other nasties living in these
cave-like shelters though. It will be 4 freezing hours in pelting snow though
down to firewood. At least the shelters and weather will mean little attention
from wolves this night.

Next morning is somewhat warmer and the snow-showers give way to rain. By the
time the party gets down to the tree line it is pouring, making fire (which
they are probably reliant on) impossible without magical means. Hopefully their
magic- users will have had a night’s sleep by now :-). The wolf attacks will
get very intense in the timber (they are now really hungry), before perhaps
other easier game takes them away.

================================================================================
Defending The Coast
Phil Scadden
P.Scadden@gns.cri.nz

Medium
Fantasy
Guarding
Coastal

This plot is meant as a strategy exercise to give a change of pace for high-
status characters (ie the characters are recognised and respected).

The idea may be of use at a lower level. Characters with scrying and/or night
vision capacities will be especially useful.

Plot. A coastal region about a port town has become the target for foraging
pirates, based somewhere in a nearby archipelago. The lord in the town has asked
the characters to assist in setting up a defence against this menace. Mostly the
raids have been strictly foraging but a recent one overpowered a sleeping manor,
killing its owner and with all the young women carried off. For groups so
inclined this plot can easily include a simple board game based on the map, with
the turn being a week, and then dicing for if and where an attack will come. The
GM then looks at what the characters have put in place and adjudicates a result.
The GM can control events on a more abstract level if this doesn’t appeal – the
fun is in devising the strategy and counter-strategies. They should be thinking
up plans for watches, message passing, deployment of forces etc. A good place
for the characters to get directly involved is in attacking the boats themselves
while the bulk of the crew are raiding inland.

Here is a more detailed scenario as an example.

The Pirates. These are actually the losing navy from fratricidal wars on the
far continent preying mostly on their own countrymen’s merchant trade in
vengeance. They have 12 viking-style boats with crews of 20-40 each. The leader
is a cunning captain and will order appropriate measures against defences (ie,
they will understand a lit beacon and its implications as well as the intended
receivers). The coastal strip concerned is very convenient and it would be
difficult to go further afield. It is only due to a botched campaign against
them that they are forced to forage off the coast to this extent and the word
is forage as opposed to rape and pillage. The leader did not order the attack
on the manor and was not amused when he found out about it, guessing correctly
that it would result in stronger defences. The usual attack mode is to travel
well off-shore (though they have been slack so far) at day, then run ashore
pre- dawn. The raiding party goes inland while 5-9 remain to guard the ship,
usually lying slightly off-shore rather than beached. The raiding party will be
competent fighters though they will back off from significant resistance,
particularly if it endangers the ship. Animals are driven back to the ship on
the hoof, while anything else has to be carried on the raiders’ backs. If a
ship does not return or has encountered major opposition, then further raids
will remain well out of sight of land by day. If a second ship is lost, then
the raids will be carried out by two ships at a time to make a large combined
force with extra guards on the ship. The loss of four ships will force the
captain to move foraging elsewhere and raids will cease.

Resources. The town lord has a sizeable following of men-at-arms based in the
castle as well as three fighting ships, properly part of the navy. These ships
will outpace the pirates on short hauls, (less than 1 hour apart), due to
superior no.s of oarsmen but are no match for the longboat under sail as the
oarsmen tire. There are 20 villages/hamlets scattered about the coast that can
raise ill-trained militia at a push (ie with a backbone of real men-at-arms in
command) but mostly the villagers will be too concerned with protecting family
as they hightail out of it, probably driving herds if they have time. There will
be one or two manors of nobles near each village though and these usually retain
2-6 men-at-arms who can be commanded. The population will be generally
enthusiastic for measures to counter the pirates, particularly if they don’t
have to actually do the fighting. They will man look-outs and beacons reliably.

Any time a pirate is captured, there is a 50% probability of finding a chart
(providing the ship isn’t fired). This covers the coast and archipelago quite
well and while it wont locate the pirate base, it will be noticeable that part
of the archipelago is drawn in far more detail than the rest.

================================================================================
Travelling Companions
Phil Scadden
P.Scadden@gns.cri.nz

Long
Fantasy
Intrigue
Quest
Road

People met on the road, (random or otherwise), I have found to be great sources
of plot and fleshing-out material for the world. An encounter might begin with
hearing sounds of a fight round the next corner. On rushing up, the players find
a merchant’s caravan under attack. If they help, they will have a useful contact
who is probably well-disposed to try and reward them. If travel is dangerous in
your world, then locals on the move will be hoping to team up with a well-armed
party. This can get players away from the inevitable inns as plot starters. Eg.
” Well we are finally back in Jardor – these villages don’t change
much.”
” Same rotten-looking inn – lets see go chat up our good merchant Waller instead
and see if we can con a free meal and board”
GM – you go to Waller’s house.
” My friends! Newly arrived back in these parts? Come in, come in -I’ll get the
servants to send us some refreshments suitable for the travel weary. – Oh, I
would like you to meet the Lady Damier – we have just been discussing a certain
difficulty of her’s, haven’t we my dear. These good folk might be just the
people you need … ” etc etc.

When players get used to meeting fellow travellers on the road, then some not so
random ones can be throw in. Eg., a thief on the run; a mage burdened with some
powerful artefact that he/she cant properly control; a dying messenger etc. A
couple of good ones though are:
1 – THE SPY – so how do your good role players feel about king and country?
They meet with what appears to be a foreign merchant riding a single wagon,
along with his cook, apprentice and a mule skinner. In reality he is a spy,
sounding out local opinion on the rulers, gathering information on defences and
paying off his collection of local spooks. A false bottom in his wagon will be
full of money for the payoffs and bribes. The meeting will be on a wilder
stretch of road, and he will suggest the party travel with him – even offering
to pay. If the players are in their own country, he will be interested in their
opinions of the ruler (your players have some? πŸ™‚ ) and will be telling various
scandalous and completely untrue stories about them. If they are also
foreigners, he will be asking after any military information they may have
gathered in their travels, in a roundabout way. A lovely role for the GM. You
need plenty of events to create the GM-player dialogue. Here are some suspicious
ones that will help the players.
Attack – the wagon IS attacked. All of the spies party, even the cook,
reveal themselves to be very competent fighters needing little protection. They
may use some fairly rare and difficult weapons too.
Visitors – by day another well-armed man of same nationality will ride
up (actually he is part of the same party). He will be taken aback a little by
the party’s presence as he has important news of a hidden defensive fort near a
ford to impart. The spy will pretend he doesn’t know him but hail him as a
fellow-countryman, bidding him drink a toast in the wagon and share news of
home. Players will need some special listening skill and the language to hear
what they say. On leaving, he will nearly ride into the cook and they will curse
each other by NAME, despite never having been introduced. At night, a watching
party member might notice one of the spy’s paid spooks, ( a scruffy local
peasant ) creep into the camp to collect his pay and warn the spy of an army
patrol. If the players confront the spy over this, he will say the man is a
blackmailer, knowing of an unfortunate deal with a local lord and demanding
money not to tell the lord he is back.

If the players start getting obviously suspicious, the “merchant” will suggest
the road is safe now and they ride on unencumbered by him. If they still stick
around, he will sabotage his own wheel and beg the players ride to the nearest
village and send back a wheelwright. “Continue on then, don’t worry about me.”
If the characters leave but then watch from hiding, they will see the armed
horseman return and the “merchant” will trade clothes and places with him,
allowing the spy to continue overland while the others see to the wheel.

The spy scenario could be a prelude to the invasion plot, described in “We Go
to War”

2- THE UNWILLING BRIDE – a flash outfit of two coach/wagons led by an austere
old noblewomen will beg the party help protect them. She will tell them they are
taking a bride to her wedding in a nearby (about 2 days away) town and their
escort has unexpectedly had to pursue a known rogue with his cronies, who tried
to waylay them. The woman is the bride’s guardian aunt (she is an orphan) and
the wedding is an arranged one to another powerful family for mutual control of
the bride’s estate, enriching both families at the bride’s expense. The “known
rogue” was her real love (perhaps a Romeo from a despised rival family?) trying
to deliver her. The party also consists of several grooms, maidservants, an aged
valet (on the brides side in any encounter – he is loyal to her parents memory)
and two dour men-at-arms. The bride is desperate and while she will be unable to
appeal directly to the party, the valet will be her messenger and tell them of
her plight. While finding a way to spring the bride and reunite her with her
Romeo shouldn’t prove too difficult for the party, this plot should deal a mass
of consequences to the party. They will have gained some very loyal friends but
contracted two influential families of enemies. The region should become very
hot for the party with wonderful potential for a vendetta.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

APPENDIX- “On the road you meet…”

On the Road you meet… The question
Phil Scadden
P.Scadden@gns.cri.nz

Chuck

Short
Fantasy
Any
Road Some time back on the net, Chuck asked the question:
” The party in a fantasy campaign is travelling on a major road between two
large cities. The distance between cities is 10 days on horseback. My question
is, what could they possibly meet on the road? The few ideas I’ve come up with. 1. Caravans. Small, medium, and large. I don’t know if they would stop for any
traveller or not.
2. A man galloping fast on horseback (he is a messenger).
3. A guard patrol, who would look at the adventurers, and perhaps ask them
questions.
Any other ideas? – Chuck”

Well the net did indeed have some ideas. Some longer responses have been
included in the main section of the book – but here is a collection of shorter
responses. ================================================================================

“On the road you meet…” HMD
H.M. Dykstra
hdykstra@titan.ucs.umass.edu

Medium
Fantasy
Any
Road (1)
A travelling party crests a hill and comes upon a ford across a shallow quiet
river. There is a group of some 25-30 people standing in the water, all naked
save for masks/hoods. The group includes a variety of people from young children
up through stooped grandmothers. They are performing some kind of ritualistic
cleansing. As the party approaches, a stout, grizzled man steps out and invites
them to take the blessings of .
This would, of course, require the characters to undress and don the ritual
masks as well. The nature of the god and the ceremony itself would have to be
tailored to the campaign.
(2)
It is after dark, and the party has been delayed. They are riding along the road
in hopes to come to an inn that they expect to find. They come to a building
which gives forth warm light and the sound of players can be heard from inside.
The sign over the inn has been effaced by time.
If the characters enter, they will find good beer and wine, and simple but
hearty meals at a decent price. The crowd is friendly and jovial, and warm beds
and good fellowship are readily available. In the morning, the inn is gone and
the characters will awaken, cold stiff and hungry, on the bare ground. If you
want to make it really nasty, one or more of the characters may be stricken with
an irresistible urge to return nightly to enjoy the hospitality of the phantom
inn. Eventually, he will starve or freeze, and become one of the permanent
guests there.

And some short ones…

A group of pilgrims, travelling to a shrine or religious site, possibly for a
holy festival…or a human sacrifice.

A small footpath into the hills/woods/whatever, leading to a hermit’s house. The
hermit may be a sage, a crazed ex-magic-user, an alchemist, a witch…

A roadside gravesite. Lots of possibilities.

The ruins of a castle, city, or something, destroyed in war some hundreds of
years ago.

A small, untended shrine dedicated to a local demigod. Failing to make
donations could lead to bad luck. The wrong kind of donation could be worse
than none at all. (A few of these and your players will start to take more care
to learn something about the lands they are travelling through.)

A small, mysterious monastery, that welcomes travellers.

A witch-burning.

A small hamlet, burning and deserted but for a few dead peasants.

================================================================================

“On the Road you meet…” JSN
John S. Novak, III
darknite@cegt201.bradley.edu

Short
Fantasy
Any
Road

Restricting myself to ‘civilized’ encounters (meaning, not animals, monsters, or
empty land formations) here’s what I can come up with:
Toll gate, or toll bridge. May be a legitimate government fine, may
be a bunch of brawny idiots with an attitude.
Travelling entertainer (bard, gleeman, minstrel, etc.)
Travelling group of ‘players’ (like a small acting and entertainment
company) or a small travelling circus.
Small band of brigands, waiting to prey on the caravans you had
mentioned.
An escaped criminal, fleeing from a city justice system.
The bounty hunter hired to collect the aforementioned criminal.
A pair of young newlyweds, fleeing their powerful, but opposing
families (see ‘Romeo and Juliet syndrome’)

Also remember that a major route between two large cities will probably be well
travelled by caravans, as you mentioned, and there would probably be small
villages and farming communities scattered through out. If the ground is not
farmable, there will be inns in place of the farming villages. Probably one
every eight hours of travel for a caravan, which might translate to two or three
a day for a small, mobile, party on horseback.
(That last is just a swag. It does sound like a lot of inns. But then, not too
many are going to be great huge ones.) ================================================================================

“On the Road you meet…” CH
C. Hartley
CHARTLEY@ESOC.BITNET

Short
Fantasy
Any
Road Quite a few good ideas gone in already so I’ll just list one of my favourites..

The Mountain Mirage – a creature that appears to each PC as whoever, including
animals, they would like to see at that time. If carefully used you can have it
lead away a PC thinking that he is following another PC they were looking for,
or whatever else springs to mind. This creature should make its entry at the
right moment, when tension is already building.

As the name implies I had it living high in a snow-filled mountain pass, but I
see no reason why it can’t have cousins that live in swamps, graveyards, old
ruins, etc… ================================================================================
“On the Road you meet…” JW
James Wallis
james@wonder.demon.co.uk

Short
Fantasy
Any
Road 1. Bandits. Obviously.
2. A group of travellers who have been attacked by bandits
3. A rag-tag rebel army led by a displeased noble or a dispossessed bastard
offspring of the local monarch, on their way to usurp the throne
4. A monk on a pilgrimage
5. Lots of monks on a pilgrimage
6. Ordinary folk on a pilgrimage
7. Lots of monks on a crusade
8. Gypsies, travellers, tinkers etc.
9. Other adventurers
10. Rich people fleeing an outbreak of plague in one of the cities 11. A runaway
child
12. An eloping couple
13. Irate family members pursuing the runaway child/eloping couple 14. The other
family pursuing the other half of the eloping couple
15. A hobbit inside a locked wardrobe. Well, we left him out there on the road
sometime in 1987, and someone’s going to have to let him out eventually
16. Snake-oil sellers
17. Religious revivalists
18. Tollgates, official or otherwise
19. Low-flying dog fighting magic carpets. Or a magic carpet dog fighting a
dragon
20. Packs of wild animals
21. Spirits of the departed, doomed to walk the road for eternity until someone
breaks the curse that holds them there.

================================================================================

“On the Road you meet…” TM
Theo Mora
cocoa@msiadmin.cit.cornell.edu

Short
Fantasy
Any
Road

Somebody in distress; bandits are going to do nasty things to him/her. Once
saved (if ever): he is going to introduce the party to the next adventure or to
an interesting subplot of whatever the current plot is, or just possesses the
clues to maybe successfully complete the present plot.

Alternative: he/she is very evil. Once saved, he/she invites the party to his
castle and makes disappear the party members one by one… a la Agatha
Christie… because he wants make a human sacrifice with them… Be sure to have
a NPC disappear early and reappear in due time to save the group, if they are
unable to get out of this by themselves. I used this plot, the group liked it
but I needed a Deus ex Machina In this plot the guy in distress must look nice
and not dangerous at all.

================================================================================

“On the Road you meet…” SZ
Stephan Zielinski
szielins@prodhp.us.oracle.com

Short
Fantasy
Any
Road

Actually, you can have a lot of fun with harmless loonies. The PCs are already
expecting to walk around a corner and find three witches hissing at them about
doom and goats and whatnot; an occasional red herring is amusing.
For example:
A pale little girl in a raggedly dress, sitting gravely by the side of the road,
who watches the PCs approach in silence, and says, “Tey’res marnsther’s down ‘at
way.” The PCs may question her, but eventually they’ll turn their backs on her–
which is when she vanishes. Guaranteed to slow down their march…

A large hunting dog, obviously the property of a noble, that runs up to a PC,
whining, and refuses to leave his side, casting fearful glances all about. When
the party stops to rest, the dog vanishes.

At a crossroads: a foot-high cross with a crucified rat.

A man in a chef’s uniform running down the road gibbering “The knuckles… the
horrible knuckles…” ================================================================================
“On the Road you meet…” SP
Samuel Penn
samuelp@aifh.ed.ac.uk

Short
Fantasy
Any
Road A lone pilgrim building a shrine to his god at the side of the road.

A burnt and gutted village/inn which has been recently attacked by
bandits/dragons/an army/undead whatever. Maybe it’s a regular occurrence in the
area?

Inn run by thieves who rob likely looking travellers in the night (after
suitable doses of drugs in their sleep of course). Need some reason why they
don’t just kill the players of course.

Inn run by faeries just out to have a good time. When the characters wake up in
the morning, they find the inns moved/vanished, the residents have changed, or
any other worrying but non-fateful events. Faeries could make good use of
glamour et al to make anything appear as anything they want it to.

An army marching somewhere off to fight some war (or coming back from one).
Maybe first come across routing soldiers, then finally an enemy army in
pursuit/camped down whatever.

Massacred caravan.

An obviously marked trail just off the road leading somewhere. Someone in need
of help? A trap? A red herring?

No road. ie its vanished, gone, disappeared into oblivion. It just ends in the
middle of open plains. Maybe continues a few kilometres further on.

A herd of cattle crossing the road. They seem to appear some kilometres to one
side of the road, cross the road, and disappear several kilometres in the other
direction. Some form of rift in space/time leading to other worlds. (okay, so
I’ve stolen that from Mostly Harmless).

A lone horse, riderless. Still has saddle/saddle bags. Contents might give clue
to who the rider was, but not why he’s disappeared.

================================================================================
“On the Road you meet…”
Unknown

Short
Fantasy
Any
Road

God. He wants them to find this cup…[Ed. See “Monty Python and
the Holy Grail if you cant figure this out]
A new lake/chasm blocks the road…
Demons/Dragons have set up shop on the road. Steady supply of food.

Of course, more sensibly:
Many small towns, villages and homesteads, with associated townsfolk. Village
rumors and scandals can be a great add to a campaign. Gives and sense of the
real world existing. Not just BIG magic, monsters, cities. Normal people are
around too. They shouldn’t just be Background (or god forbid, cannon fodder).

And if you really want to confuse your players

Another city. Unmapped. Perhaps illusory, perhaps it only overlaps the world
once every hundred years or so. Or the players just get mislaid by bandits who
altered the road to lead to a previously abandoned city, lost to time (great for
BG). Imagine their surprise as they come to what they assume is the proper city
and find it completely abandoned (save for traps from the bandits). ================================================================================

“On the Road you meet…” TWW
Terrence W Wright
tww133@cs.usask.ca

Short
Fantasy
Any
Road

The remains of a small skirmish. Be sure to have several dead still steaming in
the morning mist (ie still warm). It works best if the PC’s are at war with
both sides (so they are not sympathetic to either side), then have a survivor
found from each side. Be sure to have both warriors promise whatever if the
PC’s will save them and eliminate the other. Also be sure to imply that someone
will be coming back here. Give experience if the Clerics administer last rites,
and if the PC’s are sufficiently solemn. There should be NO battle here. Just
role playing.

I pulled this one in one of my fantasy campaigns, and the PC’s saved both
survivors, only to find that the allies of one of the survivors had gone on to
the next town and looted it for supplies. (The nearest town happened to be a
PC’s hometown.)

================================================================================
“On the Road you meet…” BJD
Ben Davis
bjd12@cus.cam.ac.uk

Short
Fantasy
Any
Road

Inns with irritating/eccentric landlords (lights out at 10, temperance village,
demanding the PCs take baths, only food available is what you pick yourself,
that sort of thing)

Goats that go bleat in the night (in a threatening manner…)
(watch that blood pressure _rocket_ πŸ™‚ )

Shoe catastrophes (how many PCs have the gear to mend their boots ?)
or even worse, horse maintenance

Local Govt. representative charging them road tax (my lot thought it was a
bandit scam, and killed them…bad move). If they pay up, you can even give them
a road tax disc…

Helpful NPCs who just want to make their life easier (offering cups of tea,
somewhere to stay, in a quiet cottage in the woods, “if only you’ll chop some
wood sir, for I am frail” kind of thing – eccentric old ladies with too many
cats who really are just being nice)

Bridges down, flooded rivers, natural catastrophes in all shapes and forms
(especially irritating ones that are time consuming, or involve a change of
plan, without being life threatening)

================================================================================
“On the Road you meet…” CGP
Colin G. Peters
colinp@nano.engr.mun.ca

Short
Fantasy
Any
Road

Travelling minstrels, as in bards, actors, etc… It’s used in oh so many plays
and movies (anybody see Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead? (bad spelling I
know) ).

Bandits. Used a lot I know, but you could make them original (or at least
interesting). How about a Robin Hood type band… Steal from the rich, give to
the poor, PCs are often rich πŸ™‚ :). This is especially good if the PCs are all
(supposedly) good and claim to support this kind of rampant do-goodery. Just
wait till they realize *they* are now the targets πŸ™‚

Monks or Pilgrims. These people can be nicely annoying to PCs. They may be
overfriendly, or attempt to convert characters, or ask for donations (travelling
Hare Krishnas anyone? πŸ™‚ ). Monks can also be really useful… they know all
kinds of stuff, or, if you’re into that kind of thing, they could be carrying a
holy relic around with them.

Tax collectors. At certain times of the year the Lord/Sheriff of a barony would
send people around to all the villages to collect the king’s taxes. These people
would be heavily armed and would carry a whole pile of money. The PC’s might be
tempted to turn bandit- even if they had good intentions. However, stealing
taxes is one of the best ways to incur the wrath of the local lord, because then
he must pay the king out of his own pocket!

The single, unassuming stranger. Who is he? He could be a wizard in disguise…
he could be a dishonoured knight… he could be a young man looking for
adventure and escaping a nasty past. Why not just have someone ask to accompany
the characters. Make the person act mysterious and listen to the players
speculate. Players have really good ideas sometimes πŸ™‚ (If they decide to kill
him for being mysterious then (a) your players are bloodthirsty and (b) this guy
could be a totally innocent traveller, perhaps with powerful friends).

—————————————————————————-
Phil Scadden, Scadden Research
55 Buick St, Petone, Lower Hutt
New Zealand
ph (04) 568-7190, fax (04) 569 5016

The Net Book of Plots – Volume 4

———-========== The NET.PLOTS.BOOK ==========———-
Volume IV
Compiled by Phil Scadden

Editors Note:

Here at last is volume 4, the latest attempt to keep GM’s supplied with
inspiration. It contains plot and scenarios for mostly fantasy RPGs but at
last I have some cyper plots. (Now for some more horror and space adventures for
Vol 5). Plots have been presented in no particular order – if it isnt
written for your genre, try thinking of translating the core idea. I have
made only minimal changes (spelling and removal of trademarks etc. of a
certain gaming company) to the material as received. I hope everyone finds
this enjoyable and useful.

The book includes a very large appendix of ideas for starting out campaigns.
(seems to be the theme for this volume). Should be no excuse for the tired
old “you meet these people in a bar” hack.

Authorship of individual plots have been accredited individually with email
addresses. Author attribution is at the top of each plot. Authors appreciate
feedback – if you use any of these try telling the author how you did. IT
MAY WELL ENCOURAGE THEM TO CONTRIBUTE MORE PLOTS TO THE NEXT VOLUME.

Finally, my thanks to all who submitted these plots. You make the
net.*.books possible. Of course my mail box is now open for contributions
to vol 5…

Phil Scadden P.Scadden@GNS.CRI.NZ 7/3/95

So where are we… and who are you…?
M. Taylor
mtaylor@tartarus.uwa.edu.au

Medium
Fantasy
Affliction
Exploration
Startup
Dungeon

Players are zapped to new low-magic fantasy world minus their memory and
anything metal they were carrying (If you are a kindly GM give magic
stuff a save to make the trip) and sporting a few new wounds (Its fun to
describe their injuries). In this new world they are poor, ill-equipped,
injured, they don’t speak the language(s), their spells don’t seem to
work as well and nobody likes the way they smell or they way they look
(“Why’s that short guy got pointy ears?”).

I ran this adventure by starting them in a cavern that looked like the
start of an underground temple complex and stuck a cave-in at the
entrance to the complex. I then suggested their last memories involved
ransacking an underground temple of some kind. This accomplished a few
important things: * An immediate goal – getting past the cave-in.
* An explanation of their injuries – they’d been set upon by
temple nasties.
* Some additional intrigue – the players didn’t realize they
in a new world until a few hours into the game.
* A justification of their teleportation – temples always have
weird, nasty, magic traps in them.
* Most importantly a reason to get out in the society of the new
world – to get men and equipment to get past the cave-in.
* Finally an excuse for a traditional dungeon bash when they’d
done the hard role-playing stuff.
Once they were past the cave-in I gave the players a fun time exploring
the temple complex as a reward. In short order they found an ancient
magic artefact and an idol that looked familiar. They united the two and
wham-bam they were back in the real-world — in the middle of the fight
they had fled from in the first place πŸ™‚

The reason I made the new world low-magic was to short circuit magical
short-cuts. The cave-in, the language barrier and other fun stuff could
have been circumnavigated by the right spells.

Run correctly this can be a really hard adventure, going into a new
world with little to no resources and little recourse to magic will
really stretch your players inventiveness.

Grishnak the Merciless
Bryce Harrington
bryce@canal.aero.org

Long
Fantasy
Quest
Rural
Giant

This encounter was designed for a group of 4-8 low-mid level characters of
The encounter is intended to be challenging and to scare the pants off the
PCs. If they feel too cocky, they may not complete the adventure, or may
complete it too soon.

If the party includes a psionicist with the psionic blast power then the
part will have a much easier time with the encounter than otherwise, so you
may want to 1) disable the psionicist’s power somehow, 2) beef up Grishnak’s
immunity to psionics, 3) cheat on the power rolls. If nothing else, impose
the -7 penalty for trying to contact a monster, even though a hill giant may
still qualify as a humanoid.

If this adventure is too easy for the party, change the giant type to a
stone or fire giant. This *will* change the flavor of the encounter a bit.
One way to toughen up the encounter without changing the flavor is to give
the giant some helpers. A dozen goblins or orcs hanging around might slow
the party enough for Grishnak to get in a few good blows. Give him a couple
of ogres, too, and the party may have some difficulties. For a very high
level party, you may want to beef up Grishnak as a specialized fighter with
a high strength, high skills, and very high damage resistance.

It would work best if one of the party members is a dwarf; for a low level
party, spell casters or psionicists are a must.

I. RUMORS

Before starting the first encounter, it is important to build up a little
fear and respect in the PCs. Make them realize how tough this giant is by
rumors of its atrocities. Here are some rumors which I used in my campaign: – The town of Inglesham was attacked by The Giant on Middenmonth 8th. Death
tolls vary depending on the teller, but at least two score of citizens found
their way to Grishnak’s belly. Inglesham is shaken by the event, to say the
least, and is offering a huge bounty on Grishnak’s head. Some say that the
King himself will lead his forces to defeat the brute, others wonder why
their protector has not stepped forth to protect them.

– A young rag-a-muffin boy has been asking in the city of Sherborne for an
organization known as The Giant Killers. The boy says that his entire
family was eaten by a Giant named Grishnak the Horrible. His desire for
revenge is so strong that he will do anything for the organization if they
help him.

[Note: The PCs had just recently decided to name themselves Unar’s Hammer,
but had mistakenly spread several earlier names about, like Unar’s Giant
Foes and such. The townspeople were a little confused as to exactly what
this virtually unknown band’s name was.]

II. TANK

“Around noon you stop at a stream for lunch and a short rest. You’ve only
been there for a few minutes when you hear: “ …. … MEE
MIE MO MORPH, Me thinks me smell a Dwarf! I’ll grind his bones to make me
bread, but first, let’s go and bash ‘is ‘ead! .
Twisting your heads in all directions you finally spot the source of the
echoes as a tall humanoid shape on the top of a hillock several hundred yards
away flings his fist forward to release a huge boulder. Looking around
quickly for a place to hide you see a rocky hill on the south side of the
stream. Across, on the north bank, is a thick and gnarled stand of trees
and shrubbery. Upstream perhaps a hundred yards is a jumble of rocks the
stream flows through.”

Ask each player to write down what they do individually. Then have everyone
reveal their plans and move their characters appropriately. The rock will
come crashing down where the PCs were. Make a to hit roll against anyone
still there.

If the players are stupid enough to attack, then they should suffer the
consequences:

Grishnak the Merciless.

Grishnak is really nothing more than a semi-tough hill giant. He’s been
ravishing the countryside and causing lots of local trouble.

Mediocre armour, (Many hides sewn together with chain mail, shields, and
metal plates); Good damage resistance; Weapons are: Fist, Club, or Rocks –
range 2-200 yards); Will also try to Grab.

Grishnak is selfish and cunning. He terrorises the local villagers (and
eats them, that’s especially annoying to the villagers). He is oddly simian
and barbaric in appearance, with overly long arms, stooped shoulders, and a
low forehead. He is about 16′ tall and weighs in at 4500 lbs. His skin
color is a dark tan; his hair and eyes are black as coal.

Grishnak carries a bag containing:
3 big rocks (2′ dia boulders)
1 Metal truck with 6lb copper, 10lb silver, 23 crown and
a dwarven gauntlet (copper, worth 100 gp)
3 Children’s toys – toy horse, wooden soldier, and a
wooden dragon, 1 short sword, blood stained,
but not rusty at all

Ideally, the PCs will run for the rocks. Grishnak will close, saying,
“Grishnak, now don’t squish food with rocks.” At the last minute, just
before the giant gets to the characters, he will suddenly stand up straight
and sniff: “Hmm, Grishnak smell pigs. Mmm, pork!” Grishnak will then
stride off across rough terrain quickly outdistancing the PCs.

***

Wait a few sessions before throwing this next encounter at them. The PCs
should hear a few of rumors about the monster’s depredation’s. Perhaps have
some offers of rewards be offered to them for the creature’s death. Here
are some of the rumors I gave out: – The giant killing specialists known as Unar’s Giant Foes are offered a job
to assassinate Grishnak the Merciless by a group of merchants in Caer
Shert. Grishnak has destroyed several villages in the Caer Shert region.
The organization is asked to report to The Benevolent Protectorate Order of
Grain Merchants in the city of Caer Shert.

– A band of ex-soldiers known as the Troll’s Nightmare were found dead in
the fields near the base of the Castle Oncliff. They had apparently been
stepped on by Grishnak.

– The town of Inglesham was attacked by The Giant on Middenmonth 8th. Death
tolls vary depending on the teller, but at least two score of citizens found
their way to Grishnak’s belly. Inglesham is shaken by the event, to say the
least, and is offering a huge bounty on Grishnak’s head. Some say that the
King himself will lead his forces to defeat the brute, others wonder why
their protector has not stepped forth to protect them.

III. OOPTHS!

“There seems to be some kind of obstruction in the road ahead of you and
you approach it with caution. Your stomach knots in horror at the
gruesomeness of the scene: To one side of the road are the crushed remnants
of a gypsy wagon. A horse still wearing its bridle and harness lays dead on
the opposite side of the path, and by the way its ribs have been caved in
and by the way the creature’s intestines have exploded from its abdomen you
figure that it must have been squeezed to death.

“Littering the whole area around the wagon are pools of blood and
assorted human body parts, and the way the skin has been torn and lacerated
from the bones, you realize that they had been physically wrenched from the
bodies to which they once belonged.

“Huge, 3′ long footprints have left indentations several inches deep in
the seemingly hard packed soil of the path. Several nearby trees have been
completely uprooted. A pile of boulders and a tree trunk, strangely
stripped clean of bark and branches, and well rounded on one end, lays a
ways off near the woods to the left. You make out the tracks of a single
wagon leading off to that forest, multiple trails of blood revealing the
wagon’s horrid cargo. Between the ruts are a single set of 3′ long foot
prints. The prints do not look to be more than an hour or two old.”

Grishnak, as the players should well be aware, has struck. A gypsy caravan
has been raided and its members carried off. It is expected that the
players will investigate. The path to Grishnak is 3 miles:

“You hesitantly enter the forest, but move fairly quickly, as a wide
path has been cleared already. You wonder how the wagon could possibly have
made it through the rough terrain.

“Proceeding through the forest you gradually come to an area where the
ground raises into rocky hills and cliffs. You stop suddenly as the smell
of burned hair and bone assaults your nose, followed by the pitiful sounds
of sobbing humans. A deep voice booms out, “Grishnak say shut up! Food
people giving Grishnak sore ears!” The screaming crescendos and then
suddenly stops. You appraise the surrounding terrain. To the right of the
trail is a 30′ high raised hill, to your left the ground is more level. The
sounds of a babbling brook come to you from your left. The path continues
ahead of you and then turns to the right at a point where the rocky hill
comes to an end. You think that Grishnak is right on the other side of the
hill.”

The players can climb the cliff and view Grishnak from above if they are
quiet. They will be able to see that Grishnak has made a bonfire right
below the hill. There is a cave in the hill at this point and Grishnak
occasionally goes into it to get something. To one side of the fire, not
far from the cave entrance, is the battered remains of the wagon, and inside
of it are the limp (though living) bodies of 16 gypsies. A small pile of
gypsy heads can be seen next to the wagon. The gypsies seem to be in a
state of shock.

Grishnak is stupid, but not dumb. If attacked, he will defend himself
fairly well, but unfortunately he has not left himself a cache of rocks
nearby, and left his club at the scene of the crime to be able to pull the
wagon back. Grishnak will try to flee if he takes over 1/2 his hit points
in damage.

Here are some things for Grishnak to say:

“Where Grishnak club? Stoopid Grishnak lost club when took rolly box.”

“Where Grishnak rocks? No rocks? Oh, yeah, Grishnak empty bag for food
people.”

IV. THE BATTLE

My PCs defeated the giant through a great plan, which took them 3-4 hours to
put together (no kidding!) The cleric cast silence, light, and heat metal
on the giant, in that order. As soon as the silence was on the giant, the
metabolic psionicist snuck in to the giant’s cave and attempted to use
double pain. Unfortunately the giant woke up at that point and the fight was
on. The light successfully blinded the giant, and with the silence as well,
it was mighty difficult for him to hit anyone (I think the only damage came
from the giant randomly backing into the fighter). Most of the damage came
from the fighter’s blows and the cleric’s heat metal spell. The
thief/psionicist kept failing to strike the giant with double pain, at least
until the very end.

The giant finally fell and the party was, to say the least, very excited.
They cut the giant’s head off and proceeded to carry it through the towns
Grishnak had terrorised.

V. EPILOGUE

There had been such a build up to the giant encounter that I felt there had
to be some sort of major rewards. Rather than simply giving out treasure, I
awarded fame. The party went around and collected bounties, and as they
travelled they were accepted as heroes throughout the lands. Here are some
of the rumors that the PCs received following their defeat of Grishnak:

– Word of the exploits of Unar’s Hammer has reached the Humber
coast and the cities of Yartshire and Sherborne. The tales of
the defeat of Grishnak the merciless are second only to the
stories of Gipin’s defeat of Navagoras the Magnificent.

– A group calling themselves “Heros of the Dark Fist” has claimed
responsibility for the defeat of Grishnak the Merciless. They say that
Unar’s Hammer had accosted them after their defeat of the giant, while they
were still weak, and stole the giant’s head. They proved their claims by
showing they had possession of Grishnak’s hands and feet.

THE BROKEN IDOL
Loren Miller
loren@hops.wharton.upenn.edu

Medium
Fantasy
Investigation
Urban
Village

This plot assumes that player characters are members of an extended
family, or clan, and all live in the same castle/villa/manse. My
campaign is a RuneQuest campaign set in Carmania, which is a cold and
snowy land that was the heart of a splendid ancient empire conquered
and kept by warfare, and is now the heart of a growing merchant
network.

Strange ship docks at the clan village, word is sent to the clan to
pick up Farwalker, the chief’s half-brother and wandering-merchant/
capitalist-oppressor-pig who has been gone for many years. He is sick,
very cold, and is clutching something in his hands. His hands cannot
be pried apart without breaking his fingers, something the chief (in
my campaign his nickname was Stoneface, but the PCs called him
“chief”) would be very upset about.

Chief installs his brother in a sickroom, and appoints a PC to
watch him, alternating with other family members. A rivalry would be a
good thing to encourage here, because it makes the rest of the plot
possible.

Word comes that someone has been killed in the village. PCs are
sent to investigate. Discover several brutal murders. Chase the
murderer around, path leads to the clan house/castle/villa/manse.

While the PCs are out of the room, the rival searches through uncle
Farwalker’s clothes and finds something, half of an ivory idol, and
removes it to his rooms. Then he comes back, pretending nothing has
happened. In the meantime, the murderer has snuck into the sickroom,
put out the lights, and is killing uncle Farwalker as the rival walks
in and lights a candle to see what’s going on. The murderer is a yeti
or some other huge, hairy, tough humanoid (in my campaign it is a snow
troll from the glaciers) which was looking for an idol that Farwalker
took.

The PCs come in about the same time that the rival is being ripped
up by the murderer and join the battle. What happens after this is up
to you, but the PCs will probably discover the half idol, should
interrogate the rival, may want to find where the idol came from, may
want to return it, and may have to deal with more attempts to recover
the idol. And… the idol might be cursed, or blessed, or an
ingredient in a world-shattering magical ritual.

The Borrowers re-visited
Phil Scadden
P.Scadden@gns.cri.nz

Short
Fantasy
Sci-Fi
Affliction
Any

Ever enjoy “The Borrowers” as a child? Consider the possibilities of suddenly
shrinking the players to say 15 to 40 cm. Cats, dogs, rats become serious
monsters, a 3 foot wall becomes a major obstacle. To get back to normal size
they need say a potion found only on a high shelf. Make this a test of
ingenuity with utilising ordinary objects. Any genre will do!

Jericho Jones and Kruger Bioprime
Colin Steele
colin@aol.net

Long
Cyberpunk
Investigation
Wilderness
Rural
Urban
City

A CP2020 scenario follows.
TRADEMARK NOTICE. Cyperpunk(tm) is a trademark of R. Talsorian Games Inc.

Copyright (C) 1992 Colin A. Steele

This document is free. Permission is given to redistribute it and/or
modify it under 2 conditions:

1. My name stays on it.
2. No profit is made from redistribution or modification.

This is not meant to be a fully fleshed-out adventure. There are many
gaping holes, that you, the GM, are gonna have to fill. My intention
was to create a framework which was sufficiently fleshed out to be
useful, but flexible enough to be adapted to your campaign.

Thanks, and enjoy.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Jericho Jones

Rocko, a small-time fixer known to one party member, contacts the
party with a “favor” to ask. He has a client, Malachi Jones, who
needs to have his son returned to him. To emphasize the “favor”
appeal, make one of the characters, preferably a nomad, somehow owe a
favor to Malachi Jones. If the characters are stupid enough to do
this as a “favor”, Rocko pockets a big wad of cash. If the characters
are smart, Rocko makes them the real offer. His client offers 10,000
eb for the return of Jericho Jones, the son of Malachi Jones, the
chief of the Jones Tribe. Jericho is hiding out in Sky Mesa, with the
tribe of nomads living in the area.

The characters accept the job, and travel to Sky Mesa.

They arrive in the middle of a firefight. The tribe of nomads living
in Sky Mesa is getting the shit kicked out of ’em by the local
wastelanders, the Fury. Jericho is nowhere to be seen. If the
characters look *specifically* at the Fury’s tactics, they’ll notice
that the Fury is being semi-methodical, as if looking for someone.
The characters join in on the side of the Sky Mesa tribe, of course,
and eventually chase off the Fury. Again, if the characters are being
careful and keeping their eyes open, they’ll see part of the Fury’s
gang hop in an AV-4. (An extremely odd possession for a wastelander
gang.) But, the AV-4 has no markings, and it speeds off into the night
before the characters can do anything more. The rest of the Fury
takes off in cyberbikes.

The massacre is a sight. Women and children are just so much
lunch meat. Many RV’s and trailers are ablaze. If the characters are
helpful, offering medical aid, etc., they will be taken to see
Jericho. Play the massacre up for maximum compassion effect.

The characters meet Jericho. Jericho explains that he and his father,
Malachi, had a huge falling out last year, and Jericho has been at Sky
Mesa ever since. Jericho was trying to prove to his father that
Kruger Bioprime, a mid-size multinational, is bad news. It’s obvious
that Jericho is a righteous dude. He cares about people, and is
trying to create a better life for the people of Sky Mesa. In fact,
he’s the de facto leader of the Sky Mesa tribe.

You ask, “Why is Jericho down on Kruger, when Kruger Bioprime has been
downright friendly with the Jones Tribe?” As part of a “multicultural
activism campaign” to “improve the public’s perception of Kruger
Bioprime”, they have been helping the Jones Tribe fight to regain some
land titles to property in Salt Lick.

Jericho never bought the corp’s bullshit. He has always suspected
something more sinister, but hasn’t been able to prove anything. To
boot, the corp has been winning some of the court battles, and the
Jones Tribe now has legal rights to some property in Salt Lick. That
makes it even harder for Jericho to talk sense to Malachi.

Jericho lays the cards on the table. He asks the characters to help
him find the dirt on Kruger. If the characters are of the mind just
to collect their money, Jericho will outbid his father – offering to
double their fee. Of course, he’s full of it. The Sky Mesa tribe can
only pay about 1/2 of the 10,000 eb the characters were originally
offered for the job. But anyhow, Jericho’ll play both on the
characters pocket book sense, and on their sense of justice. And, he
adds, if they can indeed turn the tables on Kruger Bioprime, the Sky
Mesa tribe will “owe them”.

Now if the characters just want to bag Jericho, fine. Let ’em.
They’ll have no problem bringing him in to ‘ole Pop. They’ll collect
their fee, and head off into the sunset. What they won’t know is that
the Sky Mesa tribe springs Jericho from incarceration in the Jones
tribe. Much later, they’ll read in the news about what Kruger
Bioprime is really doing in Salt Lick.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

The Real Fax

Kruger Bioprime *is* bad news. They’ve got Malachi Jones on the
payroll, keeping him quiet and rich, while they wrestle deeds out of
the legal system and into Malachi’s hands. Don’t even ask what
they’re doing to the unwitting members of the Jones tribe.

The story goes something like this:

With some serious hush money, Kruger convinced Malachi to let them
build a secret R&D/training base on one of the parcels of land. The
base was completed over a year ago and code-named Cadence Canyon. The
original purpose of the base was lost when a violent internal coup put
Katherine Washington in power at Kruger. A smart Kruger exec, by the
name of Charles Marsh, was bucking to get a promotion to associate VP,
and took over as the Candence Canyon project leader. He realized that
Cadence is in the middle of nowhere, and has a more or less captive
population. It’s perfect for dumping hazardous waste, new product
testing, covert op training, you name it! Mr. Marsh sent several
memos around to this effect, which is perfect dirt for Jericho to dig
up. If he can.

Kruger planned to use the Jones tribe for product testing/op training,
and they’ve made good on the plan, so far. Malachi doesn’t know it,
but Kruger has already been testing a new virus on a small segment of
the Joneses. The virus hasn’t broken out yet, but it’s a new form of
anthrax which cannot live in soil. (Perfect for military
applications!) About 10% of the tribe is infected. Kruger plans to
try out their cure on 1/2 of the infected 10%, and let the other half
die to see how effective the virus is. (Kruger doesn’t know it yet,
but their manufacturing process is for shit, and this is the only run
of the virus that will be useful. It’ll take them about another year
to produce a second batch.)

Although Malachi doesn’t know about the virus, he suspects something
might be up. Kruger knows this, and when Malachi reaches the breaking
point, which they know he will, they’ll waste him. Then, according to
some keen legalese, the deeds revert to Kruger. Imagine that! Then,
Kruger can do whatever they please with the Jones tribe.

Through their two moles in the Jones tribe, Kruger learned that
Jericho was trying to dis ’em. Wanting to protect their investment,
Kruger ordered Malachi to “lean” on the Sky Mesa tribe. So, Malachi
hired the Fury. Big mistake. The Fury was too cybered up and
psychoed out for Malachi to control. Plus, their leader is kinda
greedy. So, when Kruger asked them to go ahead and waste Jericho, for
10,000 eb, they didn’t think twice. They took it upon themselves to
*wipe out* the Sky Mesa tribe, and put Jericho’s head on a stick in
front of their leader’s tent. Malachi realized his mistake, and,
wanting to save his son, hired the characters to kidnap him. He
doesn’t know that the Fury are playing both ends against the middle.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Diggin’

So, the characters team up with Jericho Jones! Now the fun starts.
They’ve got to get some dirt on Kruger, ASAP. In the previous
episode, the characters got hired to find Jericho and return him to
Malachi Jones. They landed in a firefight between the Fury and the
Sky Mesa tribe. Little did they know that the Fury were in the pay of
Kruger Bioprime *and* Malachi Jones. Kinda ironic, huh?

The Fury are planning another raid on Sky Mesa, and have some scouts
observing the movements of the tribe. If the characters move Jericho,
the Fury will know about it, and will attack at the first opportune
moment. Otherwise, they’ll stage an attack on the Sky Mesa camp the
night following.

Perceptive characters will know that a) they Fury were using an AV-4,
and b) they were hunting for someone. If the characters make a point
of it, one of the Sky Mesa bunch will volunteer a few digital photos
of the AV-4, taken during the raid. The characters may decide to
analyze these. Another clue: if there are any bodies of Furies,
perceptive characters who make a coupla’ skill checks will find out
that the Furies are sporting some keen *new* cyberware. Finally, if
there are any living Furies, they might be interrogated to reveal some
useful clues.

All of the clues will point the characters back towards a particular
fixer in Night City. From that fixer, they’ll be able to make the
connection to Kruger Bioprime.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

A Thousand Words

The photo analysis will yield a vehicle ID number – but only after
some serious skill checks, time and cash. The characters can try it
themselves, using Photo&Film skill a program called DigiDesigner Pro,
and 8 hours. Or, they can call in some contacts to have it done, for
about 2000 eb. Once they locate the contact and upload the photos,
it’ll take 2 hours. If they use a contact, success is guaranteed (but
don’t tell them this).

The vehicle ID can be tracked down to a AV-4 reported stolen from a
Kruger Bioprime branch office in Night City six months ago. Included
in the NCPD files concerning the case are some interesting clues. The
case notes indicate that at the scene of the crime, investigators
found the tag symbol of the gang known as the Icemen. No gang members
could be apprehended for questioning, so the lead was never properly
pursued. In addition, a pattern of vehicle theft was developing,
though not necessarily correlated with the Icemen. AVs and expensive
cars were disappearing at a fairly high rate, for about 3 months
around the time that this particular AV-4 was stolen.

The next step for the characters might be to find and question some
Icemen. This should be fairly difficult. The Icemen are a small
gang whose primary reason for existence is to supply the members with
enough cash to support their drug of choice – ice. Ice is a
little-know, highly addictive hallucinogen. The users can be easily
identified by one of the drug’s side effects – the user’s skin
temperature is significantly lower than normal. With some street deal
and some luck, they might be able to hook up with Frost, the leader,
and chief junkie, of the Icemen. From her, the characters might be
able to find out that Micky hired the Icemen to do most of the vehicle
theft, including the AV-4 in question. Then again, Frost might just
decide that the Icemen need to have some fun, and jam on the
characters heads! GM’s discretion on this one.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Furious

If there were any of the Fury still alive, the characters might want
to squeeze a little information out of them. None of the ‘dorphed out
Furies is going to be of much value, but each successful
Interrogation/Intimidation/whatever skill check (average difficulty –
+15) will yield one of the following clues: 1. Zap was in Night City two weekends ago.

2. A bunch of Furies got treated to lots of shiny new cybergear at
a place called Rael’s in Night City.

3. Zap stole the AV while he was in Night City.

4. Zap and part of the gang did a road trip to Salt Lick three weeks
ago. While there, Zap said he had business to take care of and
left for a couple of days.

5. Zap says we’re supposed to kill Jericho Jones.

6. Zap’s input, Jet, broke up with him last week and moved to Night
City.

Clue #1 can be used to search police records to find that a person
matching Zap’s description was picked up on disturbing the peace
charges in a Night City club called the Rainbow Nights. The
characters might be able to find out from a savvy waitress that Zap
was seen talking biz in the corner with Micky the fixer.

Clue #6 can be used to track down Jet, and find out from her that Zap
got a big wad of cash from “some fixer” to “waste Jericho Jones”.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Bright Lights

If the characters check out the cyberware on the dead Furies, and make
an average (+15) CyberTech skill check, they’ll determine that it’s of
local manufacture, and find out its serial number. They can chase
that down by either making the right connections (for 200 eb and an
average Streetwise or easy Streetdeal skill check) or by an difficult
CyberTech skill check. The designer is Rael Sanchez, a Night City
ripperdoc operating out of Rael’s Bodysculpting and Tatoo. (p. 98 in
Night City).

Time to head into the city! Note that the Fury is too dense to report
the characters’ movements to Kruger Bioprime. Their laced-out brains
are filled with only one thought – ultraviolence on Jericho Jones.

If the characters pay a visit to Rael’s Bodysculpting, and make an
average (+15) notice skill check, they’ll see that Rael has some
concealed security cameras. If they grease Rael’s palm enough, or
intimidate, or whatever, he’ll let them take a peek at the footage
taken when the Furies came to visit. After about 2 hours of watching
the Furies bounce around the clinic, harass other customers, and have
black cyberware installed, they’ll catch Zap, the Furies’ leader, say
to Rael, “Good thing Micky gave us cash!” Hmm.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

You’re So Fine

Characters who are fixers and are familiar with Night City will
automatically have heard of Micky. Characters with Streewise skill
will recognize her name on a successful skill check of average
difficulty. Micky is a fairly well-known edgerunner who works
primarily out of a dingy gym on the edge of the Zone.

To get info from Micky our heroes will either have to pay, bully, or
hack her data system. It’ll take some serious finagling to see Micky,
in any case. If Jericho is with the characters, she’ll take off and
order her bodyguards to kill Jericho. If not, she’ll demand 12,000 eb
for the information. She can be bargained down as far as 5,000 eb.
Or, the characters can try to intimidate/persuade/fast
talk/seduce/interrogate. But, she’s one tough cookie, and her
bodyguards won’t take kindly to interrogation or intimidation.

The characters could also try to wrest the data from Micky’s data
systems.

One way or another, the characters find out from Micky that Charles
Marsh hired her to deal with the Fury. (Jericho’s fears are indeed
true!) Micky has done other work for Mr. Marsh and Kruger Bioprime,
including the vehicle roundup carried out by the Icemen. Furthermore,
she knows that Charles is working on some sort of secret base. She
doesn’t know where. She’ll even reveal that Malachi Jones is paying
the Fury to lean on the Sky Mesa tribe. Micky thinks this is a truly
amusing state of affairs.

Jericho’s reaction to the information Micky provides is a mixed one.
Jericho is outraged at the news that his own father hired the
wastelanders to rough up the Sky Mesa tribe. He also doesn’t
understand why. Jericho is properly justified, and not unsurprised
when he learns that Kruger Bioprime is trying to kill him. It only
hardens his resolve to make Malachi see the light.

The real question is, do the characters think their job is done? If
the characters are of a mind to teach Kruger a lesson, then just push
on.

Of course, Jericho feels that this is just tip of the iceberg, and
that they should try to push a bit further. He’ll try his best to
persuade them to do so, and if he can’t he’ll vow to “do it on his
own” if he has to. Once again, the GM should play this up for maximum
compassion/anti-establishment/potential-monetary-gain effect. If the
characters bag out, fine. Jericho promises to send his brother to pay
them (which he’ll do, but only with 5,000 eb.) They’ll read about the
battle that Jericho, the Joneses, and the Sky Mesa tribe fight against
the Kruger ops at Cadence Canyon.

If the characters want to continue, then Jericho decides it’s time to
tell Malachi. He’ll travel home to Salt Lick, and meet his father,
who is overjoyed to see him. They’ll go have a heart-to-heart. Since
Malachi doesn’t know that the characters are working for Jericho,
unless they told him, he’ll credit the characters’ accounts with
10,000 eb. If they don’t have an account, he’ll surreptitiously slip
’em the cash. Either way, they won’t find out about it until after
the next episode in the adventure.

Malachi and Jericho will emerge a couple of hours later, and call an
emergency meeting. The Sky Mesa tribe will travel down to Salt Lick
to join in.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

The War Council

The chiefs of the Jones tribe and the Sky Mesa tribe have decided to
let the cat out of the bag. Malachi will announce, with great shame,
the whole story about Kruger to the tribes. He tells them about the
secret base, and about his suspicions. Jericho tells them about the
Kruger connection to the Fury attacks. The tribes are incensed!

A quick vote is taken by the tribes, and the decision is unanimous –
they must rid Salt Lick of Kruger Bioprime. They begin to draw up
their plans to do so.

Malachi takes the characters aside, and thanks them for returning his
son. He tells them about their payment, and tells them, gravely, that
he is forever in their debt for saving his son. He informs them that
they are not obligated to join in the battle against the Cadence
Canyon base. He offers them a car to return them to Night City, turns
on his heel, and leaves.

Now, what kind of people are the characters? Here’s the real test.
Do they leave the battered tribes to fight alone against the sinister
Kruger Bioprime? They might. In fact, it’s really good theatrics if
they do, and then have second thoughts, and come screaming back into
the middle of the firefight at Cadence Canyon, just in time to turn
the tide against the highly trained Kruger ops.

But, if they don’t, that’s OK too. They’ll read about the horrendous
battle at the podunk town of Salt Lick, and the allegations of the
Jones tribe that they were used as guinea pigs. Jericho will call
them three days later from a hospital bed, and tell them that their
payment is on the way. He also tells them that the tribes discovered
that the corp had infected some tribe members with the virus, and that
they had gotten the cure from a lab in the base. He thanks them, and
hangs up. The next day, an AV-4 – the same one that the Fury was
using – shows up, and a Sky Mesa nomad hands ’em the keys.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Cadence Canyon

The Jones and Sky Mesa tribes may have some difficulty in their
attack, because the Kruger facility is well guarded. Cadence Canyon
is at the end of a dirt road, off of what used to be highway 145.
Highway 145 winds out of Salt Lick to the north, towards the
foothills. It’s a narrow, two lane asphalt road badly in need of
repair. Boulders, rocky outcropping’s, and bare earth surround the
base, and the only cover is a few scraggly trees and bushes.

The tribes plan to attack at 1 AM. The Jones’s weatherman predicts it
will be a moonless night, so the nomads may be able to surprise the
guards and effect a successful breakin. Jericho will lead a
hand-picked band of Sky Mesa nomads in a stealthy rear attack, while
Malachi will take a much larger group and use them in a frontal
assault.

There are 6 guards, 2 “Section 7’s” (highly trained security ops), a
research team of 9, 4 administrative personnel, and 2 executives at
Cadence Canyon. A fairly sophisticated electronic surveillance
network monitors the facility at all times, which the nomads will have
to defeat or circumvent in order to get in.

It is a two-floor facility, with the labs on the ground floor, and the
offices on the second floor. There is an AV pad on the roof, and the
security team makes regular patrols in the AV (about every hour and a
half).

The rest of the details are up to the GM…

Cast of Characters

MALACHI JONES

ROLE: Nomad (65 Char. Pts)
INT: 6 REF: 10 TECH: 5
COOL: 7 ATTR: 7 LUCK: 7
MA: 6 BODY: 8 EMP: 9

RUN/RND: 18 LEAP: 4
LIFT: 320 CRRY: 80

BTM: -3 IP: 0
SAVE: 8 REP: 0
_____________________________________
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 20 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 :
————————————-
_____________________________________
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
————————————-
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :
————————————-

CAREER SKILLS
family: +5 ( ) endurance: +4 (BODY)
awareness/notice: +3 ( INT) wilderness survival: +1 ( INT)
athletics: +9 ( REF) brawling: +2 ( REF)
driving: +3 ( REF) melee: +4 ( REF)
rifle: +3 ( REF) basic tech: +6 (TECH)

PICK-UP SKILLS
strength feat: +1 (BODY) swimming: +1 (BODY)
interrogation: +1 (COOL) oratory: +1 (COOL)
human perception: +1 ( EMP) interview: +1 ( EMP)
accounting: +1 ( INT) shadow/track: +1 ( INT)
stock market: +1 ( INT) fencing: +1 ( REF)
martial art(___________): +1 ( REF) pilot dirigible: +1 ( REF)
AV tech: +1 (TECH) first aid: +1 (TECH)
forgery: +1 (TECH) pick pocket: +1 (TECH)

CYBERWARE
CyberOptics: Infrared

ARMOR
Armor EV SP EB
Flack Vest 1 20 200

WEAPONS
Weapon Type AC CN AV DAM SH ROF REL RNG EB
Dai Lung Streetmaster Med. AutoPistol +0 J E 2D6+3 12 2 UR 50m 250
H&K MP-2013 Lt. SMG +1 J C 2D6+3 30 32 ST 150m 450

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
JERICHO JONES

ROLE: Nomad (65 Char. Pts)
INT: 7 REF: 10 TECH: 10
COOL: 5 ATTR: 10 LUCK: 3
MA: 8 BODY: 5 EMP: 7

RUN/RND: 24 LEAP: 6
LIFT: 200 CRRY: 50

BTM: -2 IP: 0
SAVE: 5 REP: 0
_____________________________________
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 10 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 :
————————————-
_____________________________________
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
————————————-
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :
————————————-

CAREER SKILLS
family: +5 ( ) endurance: +2 (BODY)
awareness/notice: +4 ( INT) wilderness survival: +3 ( INT)
athletics: +6 ( REF) brawling: +3 ( REF)
driving: +5 ( REF) melee: +1 ( REF)
rifle: +5 ( REF) basic tech: +6 (TECH)

PICK-UP SKILLS
resist torture or drugs: +1 (COOL) streetwise: +1 (COOL)
social: +1 ( EMP) accounting: +2 ( INT)
hide/evade: +3 ( INT) library search: +1 ( INT)
stock market: +1 ( INT) AV tech: +3 (TECH)
disguise: +1 (TECH) electronic security: +3 (TECH)

CYBERWARE
CyberAudio with: Wearman
Rippers (2D6 dam)
CyberOptics: Infrared

ARMOR
Armor EV SP EB
Kevlar T-Shirt 0 10 90

WEAPONS
Weapon Type AC CN AV DAM SH ROF REL RNG EB
Militech Arms Avenger Med. AutoPistol +0 J E 2D6+1 10 2 VR 50m 250

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
CALEB JONES

ROLE: Nomad (63 Char. Pts)
INT: 6 REF: 10 TECH: 9
COOL: 4 ATTR: 2 LUCK: 9
MA: 10 BODY: 6 EMP: 7

RUN/RND: 30 LEAP: 7
LIFT: 240 CRRY: 60

BTM: -2 IP: 0
SAVE: 6 REP: 0
_____________________________________
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 0 | 20 | 20 | 0 | 0 :
————————————-
_____________________________________
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
————————————-
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :
————————————-

CAREER SKILLS
family: +3 ( ) endurance: +2 (BODY)
awareness/notice: +8 ( INT) wilderness survival: +5 ( INT)
athletics: +3 ( REF) brawling: +3 ( REF)
driving: +3 ( REF) melee: +4 ( REF)
rifle: +5 ( REF) basic tech: +4 (TECH)

PICK-UP SKILLS
strength feat: +3 (BODY) oratory: +1 (COOL)
social: +1 ( EMP) botany: +1 ( INT)
education & gen. knowledge: +1 ( INT) history: +1 ( INT)
stock market: +1 ( INT) system knowledge: +1 ( INT)
dodge/escape: +1 ( REF) submachinegun: +2 ( REF)
forgery: +2 (TECH) gyro tech: +1 (TECH)

CYBERWARE
CyberOptics: Camera
CyberOptics: Targeting scope (+1 to smartgun att.)
Reflex Boost (Sandevistan – +2 init. rolls)

ARMOR
Armor EV SP EB
Hvy. Armor Jacket 2 20 250

WEAPONS
Weapon Type AC CN AV DAM SH ROF REL RNG EB
H&K MPK-11 Hvy. SMG +0 L C 4D6+1 30 20 ST 200m 700

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
MICKY THE FIXER

ROLE: Fixer (53 Char. Pts)
INT: 7 REF: 4 TECH: 6
COOL: 8 ATTR: 3 LUCK: 10
MA: 3 BODY: 2 EMP: 10

RUN/RND: 9 LEAP: 2
LIFT: 80 CRRY: 20

BTM: 0 IP: 0
SAVE: 2 REP: 0
_____________________________________
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 0 | 0 :
————————————-
_____________________________________
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
————————————-
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :
————————————-

CAREER SKILLS
streetdeal: +5 ( ) intimidate: +6 (COOL)
persuasion or fast talk: +3 ( EMP) awareness/notice: +5 ( INT)
brawling: +3 ( REF) handgun: +2 ( REF)
melee: +3 ( REF) forgery: +4 (TECH)
pick lock: +5 (TECH) pick pocket: +4 (TECH)

PICK-UP SKILLS
endurance: +1 (BODY) swimming: +1 (BODY)
oratory: +1 (COOL) chemistry: +1 ( INT)
composition: +1 ( INT) library search: +1 ( INT)
physics: +1 ( INT) programming: +1 ( INT)
stock market: +1 ( INT) martial art(___________): +1 ( REF)
pilot gyro: +1 ( REF)
CYBERWARE
CyberOptics: Infrared
CyberAudio with: Wearman
Rippers (2D6 dam)

ARMOR
Armor EV SP EB
Spiked Leather Jacket 0 5 150

WEAPONS
Weapon Type AC CN AV DAM SH ROF REL RNG EB
Federated Arms X-22 Lt. AutoPistol +0 J E 1D6+1 10 2 ST 50m 150

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ROCKO

ROLE: Fixer (50 Char. Pts)
INT: 7 REF: 5 TECH: 5
COOL: 5 ATTR: 4 LUCK: 8
MA: 9 BODY: 4 EMP: 3

RUN/RND: 27 LEAP: 6
LIFT: 160 CRRY: 40

BTM: -1 IP: 0
SAVE: 4 REP: 0
_____________________________________
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 0 | 20 | 20 | 0 | 0 :
————————————-
_____________________________________
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
————————————-
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :
————————————-

CAREER SKILLS
streetdeal: +2 ( ) intimidate: +8 (COOL)
persuasion or fast talk: +4 ( EMP) awareness/notice: +3 ( INT)
brawling: +2 ( REF) handgun: +3 ( REF)
melee: +3 ( REF) forgery: +4 (TECH)
pick lock: +5 (TECH) pick pocket: +6 (TECH)

PICK-UP SKILLS
interview: +1 ( EMP) anthropology: +2 ( INT)
composition: +1 ( INT) geology: +1 ( INT)
hide/evade: +1 ( INT) zoology: +1 ( INT)
archery: +1 ( REF) martial art(___________): +1 ( REF)
pilot gyro: +1 ( REF) cyberdeck design: +1 (TECH)
electronics: +1 (TECH)
CYBERWARE
CyberAudio with: Radio Splice
Slice ‘n Dice (2D6 dam)
CyberAudio with: Digital Recording Link

ARMOR
Armor EV SP EB
Hvy. Armor Jacket 2 20 250

WEAPONS
Weapon Type AC CN AV DAM SH ROF REL RNG EB
H&K MPK-11 Hvy. SMG +0 L C 4D6+1 30 20 ST 200m 700

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
MICKY’S BODYGUARDS

ROLE: Solo (49 Char. Pts)
INT: 9 REF: 9 TECH: 3
COOL: 3 ATTR: 2 LUCK: 9
MA: 3 BODY: 6 EMP: 5

RUN/RND: 9 LEAP: 2
LIFT: 240 CRRY: 60

BTM: -2 IP: 0
SAVE: 6 REP: 0
_____________________________________
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 14 | 14 | 14 | 0 | 0 :
————————————-
_____________________________________
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
————————————-
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :
————————————-

CAREER SKILLS
combat sense: +4 ( ) awareness/notice: +4 ( INT)
athletics: +5 ( REF) handgun: +7 ( REF)
martial art(___________): +5 ( REF) melee: +1 ( REF)
rifle: +4 ( REF) stealth: +2 ( REF)
submachinegun: +7 ( REF) weaponsmith: +1 (TECH)

PICK-UP SKILLS
swimming: +1 (BODY) intimidate: +1 (COOL)
seduction: +1 ( EMP) social: +1 ( EMP)
botany: +1 ( INT) chemistry: +1 ( INT)
shadow/track: +1 ( INT) dodge/escape: +2 ( REF)
operate hvy. machinery: +1 ( REF) paint or draw: +1 (TECH)
photo film: +1 (TECH)
CYBERWARE
CyberOptics: Infrared
Reflex Boost (Kerenzikov – +1 init. rolls)
Vampires (1D6/3 dam)

ARMOR
Armor EV SP EB
Light Armor Jacket 0 14 150

WEAPONS
Weapon Type AC CN AV DAM SH ROF REL RNG EB
Fabrica D’Armes M2012 Hvy. Assault Rifle +2 N P 6D6+2 30 4 VR 400m1400
Dai Lung Cybermag 15 Lt. AutoPistol -1 P C 1D6+1 10 2 UR 50m 50
Sternmeyer SMG 12 Hvy. SMG -1 L E 3D6 30 15 VR 200m 500
H&K MP-2013 Lt. SMG +1 J C 2D6+3 30 32 ST 150m 450

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Rael Sanchez

ROLE: Medtechie (62 Char. Pts)
INT: 7 REF: 4 TECH: 8
COOL: 6 ATTR: 9 LUCK: 9
MA: 8 BODY: 7 EMP: 4

RUN/RND: 24 LEAP: 6
LIFT: 280 CRRY: 70

BTM: -2 IP: 0
SAVE: 7 REP: 0
_____________________________________
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 18 | 18 | 18 | 0 | 0 :
————————————-
_____________________________________
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
————————————-
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :
————————————-

CAREER SKILLS
medical tech: +5 ( ) human perception: +4 ( EMP)
awareness/notice: +3 ( INT) diagnose illness: +1 ( INT)
education & gen. knowledge: +7 ( INT) library search: +3 ( INT)
zoology: +1 ( INT) basic tech: +6 (TECH)
cryotank operation: +2 (TECH) pharmaceuticals: +8 (TECH)

PICK-UP SKILLS
stock market: +2 ( INT) teaching: +1 ( INT)
cybertech: +8 (TECH)

CYBERWARE
CyberAudio with: Phone Link
Rippers (2D6 dam)

ARMOR
Armor EV SP EB
Med. Armor Jacket 1 18 200

WEAPONS
Weapon Type AC CN AV DAM SH ROF REL RNG EB
Dai Lung Streetmaster Med. AutoPistol +0 J E 2D6+3 12 2 UR 50m 250

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ZAP

ROLE: StreetPunk (65 Char. Pts)
INT: 10 REF: 5 TECH: 8
COOL: 7 ATTR: 4 LUCK: 10
MA: 9 BODY: 2 EMP: 10

RUN/RND: 27 LEAP: 6
LIFT: 80 CRRY: 20

BTM: 0 IP: 0
SAVE: 2 REP: 0
_____________________________________
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 20 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 :
————————————-
_____________________________________
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
————————————-
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :
————————————-

CAREER SKILLS
intimidate: +2 (COOL) streetwise: +3 (COOL)
persuasion or fast talk: +2 ( EMP) awareness/notice: +2 ( INT)
brawling: +2 ( REF) melee: +2 ( REF)
rifle: +2 ( REF) stealth: +6 ( REF)
submachinegun: +4 ( REF) pharmaceuticals: +3 (TECH)
pick lock: +1 (TECH)

CYBERWARE
CyberAudio with: Amplified Hearing
Vampires (1D6/3 dam)
Slice ‘n Dice (2D6 dam)

ARMOR
Armor EV SP EB
Flack Vest 1 20 200

WEAPONS
Weapon Type AC CN AV DAM SH ROF REL RNG EB
H&K MP-2013 Lt. SMG +1 J C 2D6+3 30 32 ST 150m 450

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
CHARLES MARSH

ROLE: Corporate (51 Char. Pts)
INT: 7 REF: 5 TECH: 3
COOL: 2 ATTR: 7 LUCK: 7
MA: 7 BODY: 4 EMP: 9

RUN/RND: 21 LEAP: 5
LIFT: 160 CRRY: 40

BTM: -1 IP: 0
SAVE: 4 REP: 0
_____________________________________
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 :
————————————-
_____________________________________
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
————————————-
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :
————————————-

CAREER SKILLS
resources: +6 ( ) personal grooming: +7 (ATTR)
wardrobe & style: +2 (ATTR) human perception: +5 ( EMP)
social: +1 ( EMP) persuasion or fast talk: +3 ( EMP)
awareness/notice: +1 ( INT) education & gen. knowledge: +4 ( INT)
library search: +7 ( INT) stock market: +4 ( INT)

PICK-UP SKILLS
anthropology: +1 ( INT) history: +1 ( INT)
wilderness survival: +2 ( INT) athletics: +1 ( REF)
dance: +1 ( REF) pilot dirigible: +1 ( REF)
AV pilot: +1 ( REF) submachinegun: +1 ( REF)
cyberdeck design: +1 (TECH) first aid: +1 (TECH)
pick pocket: +1 (TECH)

CYBERWARE
CyberAudio with: Amplified Hearing

ARMOR
Armor EV SP EB
Heavy Leather Suit 0 4 50

WEAPONS
Weapon Type AC CN AV DAM SH ROF REL RNG EB
Arasaka Miniami 10 Med. SMG +0 J E 2D6+3 40 20 VR 200m 500

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
GENERIC JONES TRIBE NOMAD

ROLE: Nomad (50 Char. Pts)
INT: 4 REF: 6 TECH: 5
COOL: 10 ATTR: 4 LUCK: 2
MA: 4 BODY: 6 EMP: 9

RUN/RND: 12 LEAP: 3
LIFT: 240 CRRY: 60

BTM: -2 IP: 0
SAVE: 6 REP: 0
_____________________________________
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 0 | 0 :
————————————-
_____________________________________
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
————————————-
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :
————————————-

CAREER SKILLS
family: +4 ( ) endurance: +3 (BODY)
awareness/notice: +4 ( INT) wilderness survival: +1 ( INT)
athletics: +7 ( REF) brawling: +4 ( REF)
driving: +5 ( REF) melee: +3 ( REF)
rifle: +6 ( REF) basic tech: +3 (TECH)

PICK-UP SKILLS
wardrobe & style: +1 (ATTR) intimidate: +1 (COOL)
perform: +1 ( EMP) anthropology: +1 ( INT)
hide/evade: +2 ( INT) AV pilot: +1 ( REF)
aero tech: +1 (TECH) cybertech: +1 (TECH)
pharmaceuticals: +1 (TECH)
CYBERWARE
Big Knucks (1D6 + 2 dam)

ARMOR
Armor EV SP EB
Spiked Leather Jacket 0 5 150

WEAPONS
Weapon Type AC CN AV DAM SH ROF REL RNG EB
Kalishnikov A-80 Hvy. Assault Rifle -1 N E 6D6+2 35 25 ST 400m 550

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENERIC FURY

ROLE: StreetPunk (35 Char. Pts)
INT: 4 REF: 3 TECH: 4
COOL: 7 ATTR: 2 LUCK: 2
MA: 5 BODY: 4 EMP: 4

RUN/RND: 15 LEAP: 3
LIFT: 160 CRRY: 40

BTM: -1 IP: 0
SAVE: 4 REP: 0
_____________________________________
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 :
————————————-
_____________________________________
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
————————————-
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :
————————————-

CAREER SKILLS
intimidate: +1 (COOL) persuasion or fast talk: +4 ( EMP)
awareness/notice: +1 ( INT) brawling: +1 ( REF)
dodge/escape: +2 ( REF) handgun: +1 ( REF)
martial art(___________): +3 ( REF) melee: +2 ( REF)
submachinegun: +1 ( REF) pick lock: +2 (TECH)
pick pocket: +3 (TECH)

CYBERWARE
CyberArm with: Heavy Pistol

ARMOR
Armor EV SP EB
Heavy Leather Suit 0 4 50

WEAPONS
Weapon Type AC CN AV DAM SH ROF REL RNG EB
Sternmeyer Type 35 Hvy. AutoPistol +0 J C 3D6 8 2 VR 50m 400
Sternmeyer Stakeout 10 Shotgun -2 N R 4D6 10 2 ST 50m 450

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENERIC SKY MESA NOMAD

ROLE: Nomad (50 Char. Pts)
INT: 8 REF: 6 TECH: 7
COOL: 6 ATTR: 2 LUCK: 7
MA: 3 BODY: 5 EMP: 6

RUN/RND: 9 LEAP: 2
LIFT: 200 CRRY: 50

BTM: -2 IP: 0
SAVE: 5 REP: 0
_____________________________________
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 0 | 0 :
————————————-
_____________________________________
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
————————————-
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :
————————————-

CAREER SKILLS
family: +5 ( ) endurance: +4 (BODY)
awareness/notice: +1 ( INT) wilderness survival: +4 ( INT)
athletics: +4 ( REF) brawling: +4 ( REF)
driving: +3 ( REF) melee: +7 ( REF)
rifle: +3 ( REF) basic tech: +5 (TECH)

PICK-UP SKILLS
personal grooming: +1 (ATTR) interrogation: +1 (COOL)
seduction: +1 ( EMP) persuasion or fast talk: +1 ( EMP)
accounting: +1 ( INT) geology: +1 ( INT)
language(___________): +1 ( INT) mathematics: +1 ( INT)
programming: +1 ( INT) teaching: +2 ( INT)
heavy weapons: +1 ( REF) pilot dirigible: +1 ( REF)
electronics: +1 (TECH)
CYBERWARE
Big Knucks (1D6 + 2 dam)
CyberOptics: Antidazzle

ARMOR
Armor EV SP EB
Heavy Leather Jacket 0 4 50

WEAPONS
Weapon Type AC CN AV DAM SH ROF REL RNG EB
Uzi Miniauto 9 Lt. SMG +1 J E 2D6+1 30 35 VR 150m 475

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Generic Kruger Solo

ROLE: Solo (65 Char. Pts)
INT: 7 REF: 8 TECH: 6
COOL: 9 ATTR: 8 LUCK: 6
MA: 7 BODY: 6 EMP: 8

RUN/RND: 21 LEAP: 5
LIFT: 240 CRRY: 60

BTM: -2 IP: 0
SAVE: 6 REP: 0
_____________________________________
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 10 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 :
————————————-
_____________________________________
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
————————————-
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
:OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO OOOO:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :
————————————-

CAREER SKILLS
combat sense: +5 ( ) awareness/notice: +4 ( INT)
athletics: +4 ( REF) handgun: +6 ( REF)
martial art(___________): +3 ( REF) melee: +3 ( REF)
rifle: +5 ( REF) stealth: +6 ( REF)
submachinegun: +4 ( REF)

PICK-UP SKILLS
personal grooming: +1 (ATTR) strength feat: +1 (BODY)
oratory: +1 (COOL) streetwise: +1 (COOL)
gamble: +2 ( INT) hide/evade: +1 ( INT)
system knowledge: +1 ( INT) archery: +1 ( REF)
dance: +1 ( REF) pilot fixed wing: +1 ( REF)
basic tech: +1 (TECH) demolitions: +1 (TECH)
play instrument: +2 (TECH)

CYBERWARE
Reflex Boost (Kerenzikov – +1 init. rolls)
Vampires (1D6/3 dam)
CyberOptics: Infrared

ARMOR
Armor EV SP EB
Kevlar T-Shirt 0 10 90

WEAPONS
Weapon Type AC CN AV DAM SH ROF REL RNG EB
Uzi Miniauto 9 Lt. SMG +1 J E 2D6+1 30 35 VR 150m 475
H&K MPK-11 Hvy. SMG +0 L C 4D6+1 30 20 ST 200m 700

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Corporate Report: Kruger Bioprime

Industry: Biotech. Custom Organisms for the defense and agriculture
industries.

HQ: Dallas

Regional Offices: Night City, D.C., Chicago, Boston

Name & Location of major shareholder: Anthony Linsky, Geneva.

Employees: 1200; Troops: 110; Covert: 6

Background:

Kruger is a 10 year old company. Kruger specializes in
hard-to-design, hard-to-produce custom organisms for special
applications. Most of its business is with the US provisional
government. However, it is trying to diversify, hoping to be bought
out by Militech. It went public 5 years ago, and is doing well, but
not well enough to attract much new investment or interest. The Board
is hoping for a breakthrough with the Cadence Canyon project.

Equipment and Resources:

4 AV-4’s (legally owned)
2 AV-4’s (illegally obtained)
The home office and the Cadence Canyon facility have non-surgery
capable infirmaries.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Micky’s Data Fortress

****
**CV T***
** *** *
*X12 A *
*34***G***BL*
** **

Legend
X = CPU
1,2,3,4 = MU
* = Data Wall
G = Code Gate
T = Terminal in Micky’s Office
V = Micky’s MetroCar
C = Security Cams in the Gym
L = Alarm

Data Walls: +4
Code Gate: +2
System INT: 3
System Skills:
Accounting
Library Search
Stock Market
Driving
Pharmaceuticals

Defense Location Code Notes
Watchdog M1 A –
Killer IV M4 B –
Stun M3 – In M3

File Type Location Locked?
HomeWare interface questions Inter-Office M1 no
New ACS alias Inter-Office M1 no
C. Bazer address/phone # Inter-Office M1 no
zombie process Inter-Office M1 no
dial-in line changes Inter-Office M1 no
NEW OPTIONS & MORE Inter-Office M1 no
RE: Memorandum ambiguities Inter-Office M1 no

Micky’s Black Book Database M4 yes
Prime Client List Database M4 yes
Shit List Database M4 yes

Memo: creating warez that sells Business Records M1 no
Memo: dialogic stuff Business Records M1 no
Memo: CyDeck performance tests Business Records M1 no
Venn Diagram of Life Autumnal Business Records M1 yes
Q2 financials (draft) Business Records M2 yes

People we have Blackmail on Grey Ops M3 yes
Meeting reminder Grey Ops M3 yes
Did you get my voice mail? Grey Ops M3 yes
Kruger Grey Ops M3 yes

Financials Transactions M1 no
Balance Sheet Transactions M1 yes

Reincarnation
Ray A Reaux
reaux@csgrad.cs.vt.edu

Long
Fantasy
Startup
Any

Tired of your old campaign? Are the PCs getting somewhat institutionalized,
with no new challenged. Do you want to create a new campaign world, but
still retain the old PCs. These are suggestions for switching campaigns
gracefully, but also spectacularly. The idea is to give a reason and
background for the shift, and make it something more than “Bob, the game
master is tired of his old campaign, so he said that we found a cubic gate
and want to go plane hopping.”

In order to switch campaigns, “kill” the PCs. Actually put them in a no-win
situation where they will all die. Remember, you want ALL the players
DEAD! Leaving one or two alive can cause problems since he or she may want
to resurrect the dead PCs. Also, do not arbitrarily kill them, make them go
out with a BANG, not a whimper. It is kind of unheroic to be told “Well
John, you were walking in a dark ally, and some assassin snuck up behind you
and stuck a knife in you. You’re dead.”

[In my campaign, I had the PCs fight an entire wagon train of vampires and
attendant werewolves. However, the PCs, being their normal perverse
selves, almost destroyed the vampires. They tracked the wagon train back to
the nasties’ lair, which had an entire village of vampire and werewolves.
Even high level characters will be overwhelmed by an entire village of
vampires and werewolves, and the characters did destroy a lot of them in a
knock-down drag out fight, and they went out with a BANG.]

The idea of course is not to destroy the PCs but to give an imaginative way
to shift campaign worlds. So introduce several NPCs before they go to their
doom, and have one of them be a disguised demigod on a recruiting mission.
It would be great if the NPC is introduced early, (not as a demigod but as
someone of moderate competence but not overshadowing the PC), the rationale
being that he or she is scouting the PCs’ abilities. When a PC dies, the
NPC demigod collects their spirit/soul.

The follow-up campaign can start on a different plane or, as in my campaign,
sometime in the future. It is up to them to learn about the new world that
they are in, and the stranger the world from what they know, the more
interesting it will be for them to explore. This is a good opportunity to
“retune” the PCs, that is adapt their possessions to the new campaign by
removing unwanted items.

[I started with the same PCs finding themselves naked on top of a butte.
They saw two bodies near by, an unconscious man, and a summoning circle.
They later found out that they have been summoned by the three into their
future to either redeem or destroy their people. Turns out an evil force
called the Blood God had convinced humans to wipe out most of the other
races, and had then enslaved the humans, all but one nation of “good”
humans. The old gods were no longer worshipped, and forgotten.]

If you shift them into a campaign setting into the future, you can tantalize the
PCs with things familiar from their time. For instance:

[The PCs discovered that there was a “Tomb of Heroes” built just after their
“death” and dedicated to them for their heroic services in the past
campaign.]

History can also provide interesting side plots such as trying to get
information about what happened to their people, or even how to regain what
they have lost. For instance, to regain their favorite magic items, they
might have to look in old dusty tomes to find it, and once they do, how do
they get it back from whoever owns it now, if anyone. And their magic items
may now have history, after all would it not be interesting to know that the
that their +3 longsword named Brightwind was used in the Orc Campaign and is
now known by the Orcs as Crouch Splitter. You can also have the magic items
change, gaining/losing powers. Or else, as in my campaign:

[ The PCs went to the Tomb, where each found their best magic item from past
with a special supplemental power thrown in by the demigods so that they
could meet their god-ordained test. Along similar lines, they found that an
old NPC they knew, a dragon, was now the grandaddy of all dragons and the
only good dragon left alive.]

Prophecies and old histories work well. And what is written is never the
same as what actually occurred. You could have fun with the effects of
distortions on historical recollections. “Hmm, is that the church I
established. Their interpretation of my writings was never what I intended,
I guess I have to set them straight.” Or perhaps their battles have been
exaggerated out of proportion by minstrels. ” Hey, he’s singing about me
when I held the pass at Dragon’s Beak. Did I really hold it against 50
trolls by myself, I thought there were only 7, and I thought you were there
Uruk.”

If you are prophecy minded, the PCs might have to unravel prophecies to
figure out why they are where they are. And if you do time translation,
since it is into the future, you don’t have to worry about paradoxes.

[ The PCs had to wade through old books of history they found in the Tomb of
heroes and tomb of kings to find out that their reason for being there was
to be judged by the gods. They found clues in old folk songs which spoke of
them and their deeds, as well as what the gods had inspired prophetic bards
to compose. They had to look at prophecies from the Red Book of Calcalsan
the Mad, an ancient prophet who lived after the PCs time, and was known for
his convoluted, but always correct prophecies.]

If you use this campaign shifting method, you need an epic villain,
something other than that nest of werewolves to kill. A quest format may be
appropriate where everything leads up to a final confrontation.

[In my campaign, the PCs were up against the Blood God who was an ancient
elf who had disguised himself as a human to lead the humans to destruction.
He wanted revenge because humans had destroyed his wife and nation in ages
past. The PC’s eventually got to the Blood God, after wading through giants,
dragons, and his ogre legions, but was at a dilemma as to what to do with
this elf, the last of his race. They chose to kill him instead of showing
mercy. The major gods judged humans as flawed and rabid, with no capacity
for mercy, and decided to destroy the world and remake it.]

This led to another, more spectacular way of changing campaigns.

[ In my campaign, several of the lesser gods, including the one who had
chose them, sided with the humans and took the most worthy of them with them
through a tunnel of light to another plane. So began a third campaign, the
exploration of a new world, rebuilding of a civilisation, and the evolution
of the PCs into demigod hood. ]

Sutekh and Adaz move house or Real Estate, cheap. Adventurer’s Dream
Jeff Stehman
stehman@onyx.southwind.net

Medium
Fantasy
Quest
Building
Undead

[Editor’s note. What was written below was not intended for the net.plot.book
but as a kind of follow up on Jeff’s great net stories about Sutekh and Adaz
now happily married and living in the temple. The plot idea at end is a great
one and after talking with Jeff, decided that this was as good a way to
present it as any! Hope you find such housing for your PCs]

Now, Sutekh tries to be a reasonable man. Understanding that living on the
grounds of a temple in the boondocks is not his wife’s idea of paradise, he
agreed to quit his job and move to a city. He even went so far as to allow
her to make most of the arrangements for the move, hire the servants, etc.

He finds out, belatedly, that they are moving into a huge mansion they could
not reasonably be expected to afford. How are they managing this, he asks.
It’s being given to us, Adaz replies. Why, he inquires. We promised to
renovate the house and raise the standards of the neighborhood, she replies.
Oh, I see; and how, might I ask, are we going to do that? Don’t worry, she
answers, it will only be a few days work– maybe a few nights, too. Blink,
blink. Are there undead in this house?

Got it in one. It seems ancestors of some rather well-to-do family have not
been resting in peace. Many of them meddled in dark arts and set themselves
up as protectors of their own crypts. Over the years, this trickled down to
those who had nothing to do with light arts, much less dark arts. The
current heir is understandably a little upset, as he would is hoping for a
little peace and quiet upon his death. In order to break the curse, a new
family must take up permanent residence in the house. Naturally, no one is
that stupid, except Sutekh’s wife. The heir claims that the undead don’t
bother anyone as long as their personal space is not violated. (Over the
years their personal space has grown to encompass most of the house.)
Undead, however, are a rather touchy subject from Sutekh. He recently had
the crap beat out of him by one vampire, spent five weeks in an infirmary,
and then got bitten by another vampire. The heir promises that there are no
vampires in the family, but he is rather vague on what all is in there. Oh,
a variety of things, he says. Wee.

Adaz has apparently already taken the time to clear a wing of the house for
living space, while Sutekh is expected to take care of the rest of the
house. (Notice that he hasn’t actually volunteered for anything yet, nor
been offered a choice.) At least she has been kind enough for an old
clerical friend to help in this endeavour, but she sees this as an ideal
opportunity for her husband. You see, while staying at the temple, any
time he was called upon by king and country to use his talents as a spy, he
was gone for two weeks to two months. (Phantom Steed is his best spell;
cuts travel time *way* down.) And that was two or three times a year.
Inconvenient when one has a three year old son whose growth one would like
to witness. But now that is all a thing of the past. When he gets the
irresistible urge to fill his hand with steel, he need only walk down the
hall!

Yes, that’s right, it’s an adventurers dream home. What are you up to
today dear? I was thinking about flushing that wight out of the west wing.
Okay, but try not to be late for lunch. Heck, there’s even treasure in
those crypts.

Anyone want to buy a house *real* cheap?

The Changeling Curse
John Hays
John_Hays@Brown.Edu

Short
Fantasy
Quest
Any

The curse of an ancient evil Wizard King of an extinct, or nearly so,
race*, placed with his dying breath against the Human, Dwarven, and Elvan
races begins to rise after several centuries. A wizard, who was but a
young boy at the final battle has finally determined the location of the
Wizard King’s lab. Due to his advancing age and the dangers involved he
needs a party of adventures to retrieve the papers of the long dead King,
so he can determine the nature of the curse, and plan to defeat it.

* The race was a race of Changelings, capable of assuming the form and
specific appearance of any humanoid. The Wizard King planned to have the
Dwarves and Elves annihilate by having his race attack the two in the
others’ appearances. The Elves and Dwarves became so entangled in the
war, that they couldn’t see what was happening until the humans made them
listen and see what was happening. Then the three races joined forces to
eradicate the changelings.

Secret Nation
Alaric B. Williams
alaric@abwillms.demon.co.uk

Medium
Sci-Fi
Cyberpunk
Investigation
Intrigue
Any

Netrunner PC is asked by journalist to intercept terms of treaty/declaration
of war due to be sent from enemy HQ to Whitehouse. PC is to hack into
communications node in the middle of the Pacific, set up a filter for that
message, and basically sit and wait for it. Simple enough.

However, while waiting, with a puff of error messages, a shocked looking NPC
materialises in the Node. He was connected through to his girlfriend on
holiday somewhere when the line broke up and he appeared here. He knows
little about comms and is mostly shocked. When the PC tells him to send a
hangup code, which should clear the problem, it doesn’t seem to work. Just
brings up cryptic error messages that give slight clue:

‘NODE #2342876123@NORTHPOLE – Invalid security access block, request
packet denied’

Typical computer gibberish. Anyway, the message duly turns up, and the PC
flits off to sell it to his journalist, who will publish it long before the
official release date, getting tonnes of money.

Anyway, a couple of missions later, the same NPC who was in the Node is
found in the PCs house – sitting in the lounge when the PC gets home. He is
a mostly cybernetic type, who head butted a speeding bullet a few years ago,
and has lost most of his personality. He is a programmed killing machine
under the control of a secret nation on the North Pole.

Anyway, he is very obtuse in talking, and sounds kinda mechanical and flat.
Answering all the PCs questions, although not very usefully, he takes the PC
outside to a small unmarked van. Any attempts at attack he will simply dodge
with unbelievable speed, thanks to his super hi-tech cyberware. If
necessary, he will pick up and carry the PC. But he will not hurt them.

When he gets them to the truck, inside is a powerful microwave transmitter
and a weird gadget, which is a very advanced network access device – it
scans in your entire molecular structure, converting you to energy in the
process. As you are actually in there rather than having senses fed back to
your brain through cables, the interaction quality is superb, plus the fact
that you can be rematerialised at another similar doorway.

This doorway leads to an assembly hall at the North Pole nation, who are a
secret society trying to sort out the screwed up economic state of the
planet for purely moral reasons. They have several underground bases, and
are alleviated of the problems of cold arctic conditions by having
everything exist in computers. They only materialise in the real world to
fix things and perform assassinations etc. in the real world. They have good
motives, but will kill, lie, and cheat to reach them.

Anyway, their interest with the PC is what was he doing intercepting that
treaty? They are suspicious that if they have successfully kept an entire
nation secret by keeping it solely in a few kilos of computer, another group
might, possibly intent upon world dictatorship, and they suspect the PC of
being an agent.

Which basically leaves the PC with a few choices: 1) Work out a way of convincing them of his purely monetary motives for
taking the data

2) Try and escape, possibly to alert world governments of the secret nation
if they are vindictive

3) While doing one of the above, stumble across a REAL other secret nation
devoted to world power!!!

4) Join the secret nation and get some cool software/cyberware,
becoming one of their real world operatives

UFO Conspiracy
Nils Jeppe
Nils_Jeppe@digital.fido.de

Short
Cyberpunk
Investigation
Intrigue
Any

One neat plot idea I have for a Cyberpunk(tm) game, but haven’t tried yet, is
that the players have to uncover the UFO Conspiracy: The U.S. government, in
alliance with some other nations and large corporation’s, has made a secret
treaty with an alien race from Zeta Reticuli. The aliens offer the humans
technology; in exchange, they are allowed to abduct people and cattle and to
perform experiments on them, use women to implant alien foetuses (sp?), etc.
The government is trying to cover up this, of course, so the players will have
all kinds of fun with government, cooperation and later on, alien agents. The
scenario would include interviewing abductees, examining landing sites, or
perhaps even a crash site, breaking into corp/government data bases (to unearth
secret information), infiltrating military bases, and so on. It would probably
work best as a Cyber style games (or even Lovecraft Mythos games); and perhaps
shouldn’t be fashioned into your existing long term campaign, because it has a
VERY large impact on your world. Should be a cool one-shot or short term
campaign. PS, to get ideas I would recommend getting onto the various UFO
related newsgroups/echoes on the various networks.

Sheep killer
Mark Green
mark.green@almac.co.uk

Short
Fantasy
Investigation
Rural
Werewolf

A small village named Stonemire is plagued by a series of sheep killings
during winter. A fair has stopped nearby whilst the mountain passes are
frozen. A friendly Troll living underneath a nearby bridge is arrested for
the killings. A Bugbear has moved into a nearby deserted Watchtower and when
vanquished has been feeding sheep remains to his guard dog. However, the
true killer is a werewolf travelling with the fair/circus. A final fight
takes place in an old windmill. I involved a sub-plot about a local Swanmay
living beneath a waterfall and a Kobold bandit group camped out on the
nearby frozen lake. The winter effects (icicles collapsing in the swanmay’s
lair, the frozen lake combat, the effects of snow on tracking) play a large
part in this scenario, which was paced for two start-up characters. They
must trade some maps found at the Kobold camp to their local Sage in
exchange for the loan of silver weapons to defeat the Werewolf. They find
out about this necessity in a book on Shapechangers in the Study of a Zombie
at the graveyard. Other plots abound in this sleepy village!

The Alchemist’s Palafitte
Mark Green
mark.green@almac.co.uk

Short
Fantasy
Exploration
Building A Palafitte (Large wooden construction on stilts) sits out on a lake. It
was the Temple of an alchemist, and is shaped as a large cross. Each of the
four wings has an “elemental” theme; Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The central
Tower cannot be entered until a special elemental treasure has been
collected from each of the four quarters. The Palafitte is filled with
Manikins, animated human dummies who attack slowly, are highly armoured, but
have “strings” which can be severed. The central tower contains floating
globes which are the remnants of the soul of the old alchemist, and cast
spells at the party. This adventure was run for five startup characters.

BLUE VELVET
Graeme Adamson with Karl Kaufmann
graemea@iaccess.za

Medium
Fantasy
Quest
Affliction
Urban
City

Scenario: The PCs have been transported to Earth, circa 1995, either on a
quest, or mysteriously for an unknown reason. They cannot leave until they
have recovered a plane travelling artefact (the Blue Velvet Orb), which is
located at the top of the Post Office tower in London (or city of your
choice), and used it at a particular location at a particular time (the
artefact will guide them there as the time approaches.

Start: They find themselves in a small room, and can hear a lot of noise
behind the single door. Behind the door of this storeroom is a huge hall
currently being used for a Fantasy Role-playing tournament. They will
likely get comments about their great costumes, and will initially hear
things coming from the 100 or so gaming tables like “Fireball! Hit the
floor!”. Feel free to embellish. If any trouble is caused, the police will
be called by the organisers.

Problems: 1: Magic spells and effects have a 25% chance of failure; if a spell
fails, there is a 70% chance of it doing something strange (like a Fireball
becoming a burst of flowers), a 25% chance of it fizzling, and a 5% chance
of it backfiring.
2: The Post Office tower is locked (mechanically and electronically) and
guarded.
3: The PCs will speak English with a strange (noticeable) accent.
4: The will have to con some jewellers into accepting their gold/silver coins.
5: The appointed time is a week away, so they’ll have to find lodging.
6: The appointed time and place: Wembley Football Stadium at kickoff time
of the FA Cup Final – in the centre of the soccer field (and the tickets are
sold out).
7: All Earth items will disintegrate gradually after they leave.
8: All the usual problems you’d expect when a bunch of D&D adventurers go
wandering around a modern day city.
9: Clerics cannot regain spells. They can however use their learnt spells
(with no chance of failure, but they have to last a week).
This adventure was a classic in our campaign. The GM at the time is now
playing a woman the characters met at a fencing tournament they stumbled
onto, and who accompanied the party back. Some notable events: the paladin
scored a critical hit on an opponent at the fencing tournament, apologised
to the victim, who was badly winded, then did it again! (two twenties in a
row from an 8th level paladin with 18-odd strength – he was disqualified).
The party was arrested, and had to escape from Scotland Yard. The FA Cup
Final was delayed slightly after a Fireball went off (giving us enough time
to get to the centre of the field and go).

The Forgetful Queen
Graeme Adamson
graemea@iaccess.za

Medium
Fantasy
Intrigue
Any

This plot revolves around a low-level female PC. There can be other members
in the party, but this plot focuses on her.

BACKGROUND: The female PC believes she is the daughter of some low-class
rural folk in a small country. She is aware that she bears a resemblance to
the current queen who is married to a young king. The queen disappears,
believed kidnapped, and forces are mobilised to try to find the missing queen.

The PC, while adventuring in other lands, gets attacked several times by
assassins (more than several; more like many), and discovers from one of
them that they were hired to kill the queen by some of the nobles. This
should happen a number of times, making the PC and her companions very
annoyed. She is sure that she definitely isn’t the queen. In an attempt to
find out what’s going on, she returns to her home country (still under
attack from assassins).

There she is discovered by the local Thieves’ Guild, and they fill her in on
some of the details; namely: she is actually the queen, but was mind wiped by
the king’s Grand Vizier under orders from the king, after she discovered
some of the king’s nefarious dealings. She was given the memories of a rural
woman with an uncanny resemblance to her, and switched with her to keep her
in a safe place (ie. out in the country). Later he decided to kill her, so
as to bring suspicion of treason upon some of the more powerful nobles,
giving him the chance to eliminate them. The PC accidentally escaped though,
and found herself adventuring, while the rural woman’s body has now been
found, and all believe it to be the queen, except some nobles, who want to
kill the PC so as to be able to present two bodies and thwart the king’s
plot. The Thieves’ Guild offer to help because of the instability the state
of the country is causing to them.

They can smuggle the PC and her companions into the palace, where she can
confront the king and his crony. During the fight (or whatever develops), the
Vizier should get killed, to prevent him reversing the mind wipe. If the king
is killed, the throne passes to her, or alternatively to the next male heir
(GM’s choice).

_____________________________________________________________________

APPENDIX I
HOW TO START A CAMPAIGN

A perennial favorite question on the net is ways to start a campaign. A
recent incarnation of this was from Joshua Felsteiner
(phr01ya@techunix.technion.ac.il) who wrote: [edited slightly] ” Hi , I am a
new GM who has formed a group. The problem is how to have the players start.
I don’t know how to tell the story of their arrival to the world! I mean how
they met or born? or are they already formed as a grouped from the beginning
and I should start from that point? I want to make it better than that. Any
help?”

Here is collection of responses to this question and similar. Have fun.

Talk about it startups
Brian Trosko
btrosko@netaxs.com

Short
Any
Startup
Any

I stick the players alone in a room for 15 minutes to a half an hour at the
start of the first session, and let them ad-lib it out. When I get back from
the store, where I’ve bought munchies, they tell me, and I take that data
and use it for adventure hooks. The only catch it, the players themselves
have to be reasonable about it. It might work for you, but then again, it
might not.

Friendly startup
Mike Masten
deadlock@hopi.dtcc.edu

Short
Any
Startup
Any

The player characters could be childhood friends that decide they want to go
out adventuring together before they settle into permanent jobs or something
in their community.

They all could have known someone that was a mutual friend to them and this
friend was killed/kidnapped/whatever. Therefore, they decide to help this
friend in need or a relative of this friend if the mutual friend is dead.

“The room grows misty…” startup
Phil Scadden
P.Scadden@gns.cri.nz

Medium
Fantasy
Startup
Any

An obvious way to start a campaign, and a mechanism very like that of plots
much loved by fantasy authors, is to simply announce as the party gather
round that they have been transported as of now, as is and as dressed,
straight into the fantasy world. This is probably best for shortish high
fantasy campaigns, as no opportunity to role-play anyone other than
themselves, but many players will enjoy this for a shorter period.

The extent to which they are exactly themselves can be varied. Within the
fantasy world they might suddenly find they have special powers, items on
them (eg pens, house keys, rings, etc) might be mighty items (as in Thomas
Covenant series) in the new world. Can also have tranformations from skinny
literature student to muscle-bound hulk with a innate sword-fighting skills.
I’d stick with personalities and particularly their real knowledge being
unaltered.

Language is special one. What I would do let them be aware that what they
hear other people speak is a strange tongue but within themselves, they can
understand the speech (except for words special to the fantasy setting that
wont translate). Eg “Graco” might be a monster from the GM’s drug-crazed
imagination – they might get descriptions of Graco from NPC or find out the
hard way but it wont translate. With a little practise, they will find they
can speak back but not words that dont translate. Eg “semi-automatic
rifle”, “saltpeter”, and “bidet” might be good words that fail translation!

A typical opening might be telling them, ” the room suddenly fills with
mist, and you feel the chill of an autumn night. Slowly the mist clears and
you find yourselves together within a circle of standing stones below a
bright night sky of strange stars. A eerie green fire licks at the standing
stones but even as you watch it grows dim and dies. You are obviously in a
high place, with deep valleys below you. Small clusters of flickering lights
indicate these are inhabited. As you look around to try and get your
bearings, you eyes are drawn to a dull light hanging over a mountain far
away. Sometimes red, sometimes greenish, the light seems somehow
unwholesome. You become aware of dark figures beyond the stone circle…”

Swinging this on players gathered to plan what do to and stopping the
narrative at that point is probably best way to introduce it. Enough has
been said to rouse the players curiousity. If they like the concept, you can
get into gritty detail of deciding what changes to make in the transition
(if any), high or low fantasy, assigning game values to their own
characters, etc.

Some thoughts on character death needed. Players are playing themselves and
are obviously likely to feel the world events somewhat more personally than
playing a made up character. Re-introducing a PC in another character isnt
quite the same either (but could be done, especially if the player didnt
enjoy playing themself). One option is to have players body slowly turn to
mist. To get the player back again should involve returning to gate,
expending gross power, and some drawbacks for the player concerned.

High fantasy (“we have brought here to save the world”) is probably best
setting but only if player enjoy a little railroading. A much freer campaign
could begin with hearing an NPC beyond the standing stones say: “Oh
(expletive fails translation)! This isnt who we wanted!”. They cant be sent
back but arent going to be persuaded to save the world either.

The real fun in this campaign setting comes from players trying to use their
20th century knowlege and technology in the fantasy world. I wouldnt rule
any technology out but would be very tough on adjudicating whether player
efforts would work or not. Playing fair, they should not bring in knowlege
from reference works that they didnt have in their memory at the moment the
game started. (A good reason for making the start a surprise and then
arguing for it). Ie they would have to know he formula for gunpowder etc.
off top of their heads when the game started to attempt it. Of course, the
GM can make life a little difficult without being obstructive with a little
care about what is in the game world. Eg (on gunpowder again), saltpeter
wont translate. Game world has never heard of it. Even if players knew the
gunpowder formula, do they know how to find or make potassium nitrate?
Likewise, steel (as opposed to wrought iron) may not be a known technology.
Do they really know enough engineering and metallurgy to create a furnace to
produce it? Of course, GM needs to bone up a bit on medieval technology but
since this is fantasy, only what the GM is confortable with need be there.
Consistancy is the thing.

Group Creation startup
Brian W. Gruidl
gruidlbw@garnet.cray.com

Short
Any
Startup
Any

What I like to do is give my group a brief idea of what is in our world and
let them create for themselves. I’m VERY open to their embellishing, but
will not allow magic items, special powers, etc. I then talk to each player
and “tweak” the character to fit into a certain area of the world. When we
reach agreement, I let him (all men – SORRY) search out information about
his region, politics, etc.

With respect to getting the group together, I have set up an Order of the
Tree (historically significant), whose charter is to seek adventure. This
gets rid of the uncomfortable “you meet in a bar” scenario.

Adventurer’s children startup
Guy Robinson
guyr@emtex.com

Short
Fantasy
Startup
Any

They are the children, relatives or apprentices of an former party of
adventurers that have by and large retired or have been killed. It
therefore becomes natural that they might be gathered to attempt a to form a
second generation of that same party.

I would have the local survivors of the former party around to act as
mentors, role models and the source of an occasional hand if your players’
characters need to be rescued or ransomed. I would not make them too high
level (4-8 perhaps) so their capabilities are notable rather than
awe-inspiring.

If you adopt this I recommend you work out what ended the adventuring career
of the original party and make up character sheets for them using the rule
book guidelines on creating experienced characters. Perhaps there are some
matters left over that will warrant the new party’s attention at some later
date.

You could have local landmarks bear signs of their experiences like the
place where the houses that the vengeful dragon burned down but which were
never rebuilt or the temple built around a fabulous altar stone brought back
from an expedition.

Treasure Map
Jay S. Robinson
jsrobins@silver.ucs.indiana.edu

Short
Any
Startup
Quest
Any

I’m starting a campaign tonight with a group of new players and was mulling
over the same question. I’ve come up with the idea that there used to be a
fellow we’ll call Bob. Now Bob had a lot of gold/treasure/ whatever and
wanted it to be safe so he hid it/buried it/etc. and made a map. He then
tore this map into x number of pieces and got rid of them. (He had x kids?)
Anyway, after generations have gone by, the PC’s find themselves in
possession of the pieces of the map, or at least a few of them. Those
pieces each contain enough info to get them to their home town, wherever
you’re starting them out at. (Let me guess, Shadowdale.) And if this sounds
too bland, have some of the PC’s not have parts of the map, but have vital
knowledge to the missing pieces. There are plenty of ways to elaborate…
Just an idea.

Kings choice startup
Craig L Wigda
clwigda@gdwest.gd.com

Short
Any
Fantasy
Startup
Any

The king summons several adventures for a mission (say 50) after a short
question and answer session you are asked to enter the door to your right.
And there is the party. Pick which characters are in the room in which order
and give them some time to talk to each other. Then the king comes in a
briefs them on their mission.

I have used this so I could have characters that were moderately experienced
but had not worked together. I hate it when I’m at a con and the GM says you
are a party of adventures that have adventured together for x number of
years. Then you all fight among your selves or do not act as a group.

New employer startup
Craig L Wigda
clwigda@gdwest.gd.com

Short
Any
Fantasy
Startup
Any

You are down and out on your luck or last party of adventures you worked
with are all dead/retired/kicked you out (character picked one) and you are
looking for a new group to adventure with because you are broke/have no home
to go to/have yet to full fill some purpose (again each character picked
one). After spending all day searching out clues to adventure or employment
you return to your room at the inn to find a note with a strange item (in
the adventure I ran it was a coin made of mithril). Note tells you to meet
(location of GMs choice, mine was the bar so the employer could see them
before talking to them, plus he started a fight in the bar to see how they
handled themselves).

I used this so I could have characters that were moderately
experienced but had not worked together. I hate it when I’m at a con and the
GM says you are a party of adventures that have adventured together for x
number of years. Then you all fight among your selves or do not act as a
group.

Wadda yer mean “Are we monsters?”…
Robert Hall
robert_hall@vnet.ibm.com

One-line
Fantasy
Startup
Any

You could just have them all be the subject of a monster summoning spell… πŸ™‚

Lost in a dungeon startup
Daniel Romig
DCR124@psuvm.psu.edu

Short
Fantasy
Startup
Affliction
Dungeon

What i have done once or twice is to start the group in a dungeon. Don’t
tell them how they got there just say, you wake up in a 10×10 room and you
see x strangers. Have everyone describe themselves and go from there. You
can make the dungeon large or medium, you must however, make it big enough
so everyone has to work together to get out. This builds trust in the group,
lets them get to know each other and that they can work really good as a
team. When they get out, they can say “hey”, “we did pretty good getting
treasure, magic, whatever and maybe we should stick together”

This is good once in awhile but runs dry after the second or so time. I used
this before and it worked out fine.

“Wrong Company” Startup
Barbara Haddad
melchar@shakala.com

Short
Any
Startup
Urban
City

One option (that I find superior) is have them all come from the same
town/city. Have a tavern where all the ‘wrong’ people hang out [rebels,
artists] so that they will have a chance to drift together, meet each other
and decide to go out together and adventure. You might have a lot of fun
making their city of origin a fun place in and of itself — have their
families play parts — you can referee it for several games — AND then
they’ll always have a place to return to…………
…..and it helps settle in the player’s mind that their PCs ARE
rebels ….. that the ‘normal’ people live in cities and _stay_ there…

Bail with hooks startup
Chris Bourne
Shuldro@treehome.demon.co.uk

Short
Any
Startup
Affliction
Urban

If you have a campaign world/city/town which you’ve worked out in advance,
you should be able to prepare a sheet or two of background info about major
religions, a map of the general area showing major towns, that sort of
stuff. Give this out while they are rolling up characters. It’s something
for the fast ones to read while they wait about πŸ™‚

My favourite way of beginning an adventure is in jail – the party have all
been arrested in a riot/bar brawl. They may not have been involved, but the
watch just grabbed the nearest half dozen citizens and locked them up.

They can then be offered the standard approach by an influential stranger
who can get them off the hook IF they perform this leetle service for them…

Unless your players have played in your world before, it isn’t a bad idea to
have an adventure which demands they travel right outside their own area, so
you don’t have to go into huge detail about their previous life history.
Ideally you want an adventure which takes place somewhere NONE of the
characters will ever have been before.

As for background, any players who don’t want to work out great detailed
backgrounds of their own can be told ‘You are a dwarf from the mountains in
the north’/’You ran away from your farming home and became a thief, because
you didn’t like your stepfather’ etc. If the player doesn’t actively seek a
detailed background, they will be happy with a minimal excuse for existing.

Those who do want a detailed background are capable of inventing their own
as a rule. They will say things like ‘Are there villages in the hills, I
think my character lived on the edge of the wilderness learning to track and
hunt’ To which you reply ‘Uh, yeah, there’s a village called Hillfort that
would do well. I expect your character hunted bighorn sheep, maybe wolves in
the winter, that sort of thing. There will have been orc raids to deal with
too…but only once every few years.’ Then make a squiggle on the map for
the player’s village (which you just invented).

Startup Ideas
Michal Bartek
mbartek@acs.ucalgary.ca

Short
Any
Startup
Any 1.) Everyone meets in a bar and spontaneously decides to trust their
lives with each other. (Heard this one before?)

2.) The campaign starts just after everyone has been kidnapped by an evil
force. The characters MUST work together to save their skins.

3.) Some common goal (defeating evil group) draws them all together.

4.) The PCs are all relatives (brothers, cousins, etc.)

Volunteers? Startup
Joe Savino
jsavino@gate.net

Short
Fantasy
Startup
Quest
Any
Dragon

The campaign I’m working on now begins with the PCs all being told, in an
announcement by the king, that they’d been selected for the quest to kill
the dragon. They’re gonna be just announced as “the , “.. (ie:
the Cleric, Erasumas)… then, they are gathered together, by the king, and
left alone for a bit in a meeting chamber… this’ll give ’em some time to
interact, and get a feel for each other.

Shipwreck Startup
Alex Oren
orenalex@sunshine

Short
Any
Startup
Any

In my current campaign I asked the players for a reason to get on certain
ship enroute to the capital city.

Bad weather, angry gods, ship goes down.

PC’s manage to get to some of the life boats, are washed ashore some unknown
island and have to survive with virtually no equipment.

Mini-adventure Startup
Angelo F Benedetto
angelo@rice.edu

Short
Any
Startup
Any

Whenever possible, and when a player seems interested, I try to run a
_short_ mini-adventure for each character before the main campaign gets
started. In this mini, you can set-up the character’s reason for being an
adventurer, this reason being shown by actual play as opposed to related
background. I find it tends to make the player relate to the background
more, since the events have been experienced rather than just described.

This method also works well for pairs of characters that already know each
other. It also allows for the introduction of special items into the
campaign. In this way, a character can start out with some item he/she
_earned_ in an adventure, rather than was given as background. To me, this
makes the item much more special. Also, it is guaranteed to go to the
character of your choice, as opposed to the character of the party’s choice,
if that makes sense to you.

Escape from slavery Startup
Jason Choi
ujchoi@uxa.ecn.bgu.edu

Short
Fantasy
Startup

PC’s are slaves of an evil, upstart empire. They have to cooperate in order
to escape their present predicament. They could’ve been enslaved because
their parents were unable to pay taxes, thus they were kidnapped by the
soldiers of the emperor. They have to combine their abilities in order to
devise a plan of escape.

Country boys Startup
Jason Choi
ujchoi@uxa.ecn.bgu.edu

Short
Fantasy
Startup PC’s are childhood friends living in a small hamlet or village. They’ve
worked hard over the past few summers and have earned enough money to go
travelling to the nearby Big city and follow their dreams and illusions of
grandeur (Ie. want fame & fortune). Being a small town, they are given the
blessings of the townsfolk (maybe a retired adventuring NPC actually lives
in this town, gives the PC’s some advice, and maybe a fine quality sword or
a contact to reach once they arrive at the big city).

Awoken from stasis
Jason Choi
ujchoi@uxa.ecn.bgu.edu

Short
Fantasy
Startup The PC’s are clones or simulacrum of Ancient Gods who are no more, either
having been destroyed, banished, or forgotten about. The PC’s of course have
no Godlike powers, because they were made when the said God’s were once
mortal. They have been kept in temporal stasis in a deep underground crypt
until someone finds them ( a party of adventurers, a wizard, or even a Lich
would be nice).The PC’s have no recollection of who they are or how they
came to be here, all they know is their names and have a deja vu about
everything. Plus a strange sense of kinship with one another. As a
substitute you can have them entombed in a iceberg or a glacier, and have
northmen come across them to chip them out of the ice (this is the scenario
I used once).

Evil character startup
Jason Choi
ujchoi@uxa.ecn.bgu.edu

Short
Fantasy
Startup For evil campaigns, I always find it useful to have good aligned PC’s hire
the evil PC’s to fight off evil. Such as having the evil pc’s in jail, the
only way they can gain freedom is if they perform a task for the ruling
council of the city or such. They can be ordered to track down an evil being
even more evil that themselves. Or to explore a uncharted region of land and
spy on the inhabitants. If the PC’s gain freedom but refuse to carry out
their orders, you can have the authorities after them, or bounty-hunter
NPC’s track them down everywhere they go. Another cruel element would be for
the GM to have a wizard put a quest or geas spell on each PC.

Save the clan startup
Jason Choi
ujchoi@uxa.ecn.bgu.edu

Short
Fantasy
Startup The PC’s brethren, their clan, tribe, race, whatever, are stricken with
poverty and are poor, near the brink of starvation & death. They have to
adventure to: 1) Find a lost or stolen artefact of legend to bring peace & prosperity
2) As representatives of their clan, tribe, whatever, they have to restore
honor, glory, and pride to their people by doing heroic deeds.
3) Perhaps find a new home for their people (Eg. Their race lives in a
secluded valley. Their people are fearful & afraid to leave the comforts of
their home, so the ruler charges the party to see what lies beyond their
isolated homeland.)
4) The PC’s must adventure to find weapons & food for their folk, to help in
a battle against some oppressing force (an orc tribe, an evil empire, etc).
They also take on the role as spies and assassins as they advance in level.

Convict company startup
Jason Choi
ujchoi@uxa.ecn.bgu.edu

Medium
Fantasy
Startup The PC’s are imprisoned in the city dungeons for quite some time (they can
be, in this scenario, homeless street urchins). They spend a few years
growing older in jail, where they meet and get to know each other (you can
even have one of the PC’s be a Guard). The ruling council/or ruler has need
of several expendable people to do various tasks for them. They can pick all
the party members and have them trained and outfitted (swords, spell
components, etc) to: 1) Scout out unfamiliar, dangerous land in the name of the government.
Perhaps explore possible trade routes for merchants of the city, or spy on
the inhabitants of a forest, etc.

2) PC’s are sent as spies to a neighboring kingdom, where they are given the
name of a contact to look up. Once there, they find their contact near death
at an alleyway, arrows studded into his back, in hot pursuit, just as he
dies he hands the PC’s something (in this case, a scroll tube full of
parchment). The parchment scrolls can be the report of a nasty plot to
assassinate some king or queen, a list of known spies in other lands, a list
of strengths and weaknesses in the army, etc.

3) PC’s are assigned tasks to perform and are given little or no information
(I’m taking this idea from the movie-Point of no Return).They are simply
given straight forward instructions such as “Kill this noble” or “give NPC X
this note then walk away”. Make their simple actions turn out to be
profounding. Perhaps the note they have to give to “NPC X” is an invitation
to a masquerade ball sponsored by the nobility of the city their in. And the
ball is the staging area for an assassination attempt on the NPC’s life,
etc. The PC’s might even find themselves in the roll of the assassins.

4) Players can be ordered to infiltrate various underground groups that
secretly oppose the government in order to reveal the identities of the
members that comprise such secret orders. Perhaps the rulers need to know if
a thieves or assassins guild exists without their knowing it (and the ruler
thus wishes to enlist their services as spies & assassins). It could be the
parties job as well to set up a meeting between the ruler they are working
for and the guild master. Even more insidious would be that the ruler is
secretly setting up an ambush for the guild master without the PC’s
knowledge (which makes it look like the PC’s did it, which the ruler may
desire because they’ve outlived their usefulness). However, with some good
roleplay the Players might be able to convince the guild’s second-in-
command of the truth of the matter and devise a rescue attempt to free their
guild master.

Going into retirement – interview the new boys startup
Jim Opp
jopp@ccs.carleton.ca

Medium
Fantasy
Any
Startup
Any

The most interesting start to a campaign I was involved with began with the
GM having us roll up (and write and extensive history for) a high level
adventuring party. The premise was that this was an old party heading for
retirement, and our first chore was to pick successors who could continue
the company. Our GM presented us with a list of 100 possible candidates
(no, he didn’t let us see the stats) and we had to design special tests and
trials to weed out the top candidates. When we made our final picks, then
the GM turned their stat sheets over to us (for better or worse…
fortunately the thief didn’t pick the absolute quickest hands, since that
character only had low wisdom and gave us a specific time period which we
decided what skills/abilities the veteran characters would teach the new
apprentices. Then we spent the rest of the time as the new players, trying
to make a name for ourselves and constantly running into old ghosts/old
scores from the “past” of the original party.

It takes a while before the real “adventuring” starts, but in my opinion it
was worth it! This campaign had the best group dynamics, because it was a
real group exercise, rather than everybody showing up with “mature”
characters who have extensive histories that are just waiting for that final
piece to make their life complete.

Hometown destruction Startup
Jeffrey S. Hanks
bubonic@netcom.com

Short
Any
Startup
Investigation

Characters all begin after hometown is destroyed by fire caused by
unknown attacker. They group together in hopes of finding out who attacked
and killed all of their loved ones, and destroyed the only home that they
ever knew. The characters would probably be out exploring ruins or caves
when the attackers came so that they were not there.

Rescue from Darklands
Ray A Reaux
reaux@csgrad.cs.vt.edu

Long
Fantasy
Startup
Quest
Rural

I started a campaign where the PCs were people from the same home village,
and all were young and inexperienced (1st level). The PCs were a magic
user, a cleric, a fighter, a druid, a bard, and a ranger. Four PCs had
families in the village, and the ranger had friends. The Mage and Cleric
were brothers with the normal sibling rivalry. All were about the same age
and were friends, or at least friendly to each other. The first game day
was spent on light bantering and role-playing to develop the relationships
among the characters.

Twenty miles from the village was the Darklands, a huge monster-infested
region continuously enshrouded from the sun by darkness. The Darklands was
the home of a malevolent intelligence which had goblin armies to command.
The goblins often raided the frontier villages for slaves. At the end of the
first day of gaming, I had a large overwhelming force of goblins (about 60)
raid the village. The PCs had to try to react from their daily chores to
fight for their lives and family. All the PCs were knocked out (NOT KILLED,
and they later woke to find carnage around them, and signs that some people,
including family members and neighbors, had survived the massacre but were
slaves of the goblins and were being taken into the Darklands. Every
character except the ranger had a family member taken as captives. The Mage
and Cleric had their mother and sister captured. The Mage’s girlfriend had
also been taken. The fighter had a brother captured. The ranger wanted
revenge since his teacher and mentor had been killed by the goblins.
Besides, his duty was to rescue and protect the people. The adventurers had
to find useable supplies from the ruins of the village, and work together to
pursue the goblins into the Darklands.

The adventurers pursued the goblins deep into the Darklands, fighting
roving, hungry monsters until they came to the keep which was the
destination of the goblin raiding party. The PCs had to find out how to get
into the well-guarded keep and rescue their family. A frontal assault was
out of the question, so they had to rely on stealth. They also had to
contend with a “thin man” a low-level lich-like creature that was commanding
the goblins, but who answered to the malevolence that inhabited the
Darklands.

The PCs rescued their family and friends and 30 or so other odd slaves, and
escorted them back out of the Darklands, while being pursued by the goblins.
Once they got out of the Darklands, they had to find a place for the
people. Some of the people that they had liberated had been slaves most of
their lives and did not know how to care for themselves as free people. The
adventurers had to get money to build a new village for them (the old
village was destroyed, and was too close to the Darklands). They had to
raise money to actually purchase land and get building materials. Since
their was no convenient gold-laden dungeon laying around into which they
could fall into, the players had to be creative and come up with their own
money-making schemes. Their money making ventures included beast- catching
and running a small travelling circus, of course with the encounters with
brigands and other hazards of the road. Once they purchased the land, they
had to clear it of some monsters, and also deal with the local Baron who
demanded a tax to “protect” the village. The PCs later ran afoul of the
Baron when they accidentally killed one of the Baron’s men. They had to
leave the village, but not until they had made sure the village was firmly
established. The success of the campaign hinged on role-playing and real
NPCs. These NPCs gave the PCs motivations for what they were trying to do. I
gave the Mage and Cleric’s mother and sister personalities. The mother was
strong willed and became the village matriarch. The sister started openly
dating the Fighter which brought out the brotherly protective instincts of
the Mage and Cleric. The Mage’s girlfriend made the Mage jealous by
spending more time with the loud-mouthed boastful, but cowardly, obnoxious
village jerk that the Mage, Cleric, and Fighter despised (they had grown up
hating him). It was her ploy to get the Mage to quit stalling and marry
her. The despised jerk had the gift of gab with women who thought he was
the next best thing since the invention of baked bread. Even the Mage and
Cleric’s mother often took sides with him. I had several other women
chasing the “heroic” Cleric and ranger, after all they needed husbands.

I had other NPCs help, since I generally add one or two adventuring NPCs to
assist in the PCs with some skills that they do not have or as an avenue for
me to provide suggestions or information to the PCs. For instance, a
grizzled mountain man they encountered and enlisted said, “Yes, I know about
this creature. My grandpappie once told me about a hippogriff that he saw
this Church Knight ride. He said that it was the dangest thing you could
ever see. Bigger than a horse, and …”

Remember that when you are creating campaign, pay as much detail to the
environment as to the adventure. And by environment, I mean factors such as
NPCs and local politics. They add spice and motivations for the PCs and
bring out the role-playing in the players.

Island shipwreck Startup
Craig L Wigda
clwigda@gdwest.gd.com

Short
Any
Startup
Island

The shipwreck has a lot of potential. Make the island large. Wild natives,
smugglers, pirates, a small coast town (soon to be under attack). It throws
the party together with a nice starting story line. It could also be setup
such that the entire party is needed to capture a boat/ship and only
(depending on the number of PCs) the player PCs are willing to sail on the
ship.

I’ve done something similar to this. It was great fun. I also used the
non-weapon proficiencies. Only one character had sailing/boating so the PCs
made him captain. This was great fun, since that person got into the roll
of trying to command characters that did not know anything about a boat.

Note, a lot of this also depends on the people you are going to have. Are
they roll-playing, or hack and slash? Either way the island could be turned
into either type of game with a limited amount of work.

Empire’s Edge
Jeff Hildebrand
jrah@space.honeywell.com

Short
Fantasy
Startup
Urban
Village I just started running a PBEM and I told everyone to come up with characters
in a small (~200 people) village on the edge of an Empire. Justify what you
do there and you all know about each other because it’s so small. Worked
out pretty well.

Murder Mystery Startup
Jeff Hildebrand
jrah@space.honeywell.com

Short
Any
Startup
Investigation
Urban
Village In a game where I am playing, the GM set everyone up in a large city,
basically separately. Then, one NPC that we all knew was murdered. We met
at the funeral and found out that we each had one little piece of a puzzle
because he had been asking each of us some pointed questions but didn’t want
anyone to know too much, so needed to ask many people.

Scott’s Startups
Scott Compton
galahad@leland.Stanford.EDU

Short
Any
Startup
Any

Maybe just start them off all in a crowd of people watching a bard playing a
song or something and the crowd is attacked by evil city guards that ban
music playing in the city. You and the group fights back and escapes: the
typical Robin Hood & gang scenario (outlaw bunch).

Or how about a council meeting… all characters represent some political
force.

Or what about an ‘invitation-only’ party to some exotic tower out in the
middle of a dead forest. The typical Dracula start… πŸ˜‰

Team Spirit Reference Startup
Ronald Lawrence ROSSITER
ronald@halls1.cc.monash.edu.au

Short
Any
Startup
Any

There is an article in Dragon #208, called ‘Team Spirit’, that could give
you some ideas for party origins, customs and history. Also, another idea is
to make the players come up with the origin/meeting of the party after they
generate their characters (saves you from the work, as they know what they
want…).

The Net Book of Plots – Volume V

The Net Book of Plots

Volume V

Editors Note:
This book marks the first in a new format, made for conversion to HTML
and for indexing. My enormous thanks go to Alexander Forst
(alex@complang.tuwien.ac.at) and to Soh Kam Hung (h.soh@trl.telstra.com.au)
for their dedicated efforts in designing this tagging scheme and help in
tagging and editing the plots. I hope all enjoy this new collection and
dont forget to tell the authors how it went if you run a plot.
—————————————————————————

Patrimony
Tim Dickinson
dickinst@crl1.crl.aecl.ca

Short
Any
Any
Affliction A character (or a follower, or henchman) receives an “inheritance” they didn’t
know they had from their father or some more ancient ancestor. Note that these
types of inheritances don’t have to be land, wealth or possessions: sometimes
certain _rights_ were just as valuable. For instance the right to own land in
certain places, the right to start a business, or be exempt from taxes, or
whatever. For balance, it probably shouldn’t be something _too_ wonderful. It
may even have problems attached (squatters on land, politicians who don’t like
people exempt from taxes, etc.).

Chimneys
Tim Dickinson
dickinst@crl1.crl.aecl.ca

One-line
Urban
Any
Investigation There’s a killer on the loose in town. Someone (something?) is killing people
and stuffing them down chimneys and fireplace flues. People find out when they
light their morning fires and the smoke backs up. No visible wounds. Is it
poisoning? Demons? Rabid Santa Claus?

Floating
Tim Dickinson
dickinst@crl1.crl.aecl.ca

One-line
Urban
Any
Investigation Some washing women (damn, I’m sexist) are down by the river when something
horrible floats to the surface. They run back and tell everyone. Was it alive?
Dead? Is it there when someone goes to investigate?

The Crucible
Tim Dickinson
dickinst@crl1.crl.aecl.ca

One-line
Urban
Any
Quest Some guy off the street comes up to a character and wants to buy an object they
carry (a sword? helmet? shield?). He offers to pay with a small marble
crucible.

Calculus
Tim Dickinson
dickinst@crl1.crl.aecl.ca

One-line
City
Fantasy
Intrigue Some sages in the city come up with a new higher-order mathematics which they
say is very useful for describing natural phenomena. The local church
immediately denounces it as unholy and sacrilege.

Prolapse
Tim Dickinson
dickinst@crl1.crl.aecl.ca

One-line
Any
Affliction A medical condition with which to inflict a PC; specifically, the falling down
of a part of the body from its normal position, usually the womb or the
rectum. I kid you not. Look it up.

Get the Acid
Tim Dickinson
dickinst@crl1.crl.aecl.ca

One-line
Wilderness
Fantasy
Quest
Dragon The players must (for whatever reason – debt, magical item required, payment
to a mage, etc.) retrieve, whole and unbroken, the internal acid sac of an
acid-spitting dragon. First kill it (non-destructively), then cut out the
sac (tricky business).

Rumour
Tim Dickinson
dickinst@crl1.crl.aecl.ca

One-line
Urban
Any
Intrigue
Affliction A nasty personal rumour spreads about a PC. It’s untrue, and quite nasty. Who
started it? What implications will it have?

Insane companions
Tim Dickinson
dickinst@crl1.crl.aecl.ca

One-line
Any
Any
Affliction Henchmen or hirelings that turn out to be insane. For example, a soldier with
monomania (becomes obsessed with one task to the exclusion of all else, becomes
depressed when task completed), or a megalomaniac blacksmith.

You call this government?
Tim Dickinson
dickinst@crl1.crl.aecl.ca

One-line
Any
Fantasy
Sci-Fi
Intrigue

Areas with unusual forms of government. For example, a pedocracy (government by
scholars and the educated), or a syndicracy (rule by a body of syndicates, each
representing some business interests).

Holy water
Tim Dickinson
dickinst@crl1.crl.aecl.ca

One-line
Urban
Fantasy
Quest A cleric must become involved in re-making a holy water font after the old one
is defiled. Several weeks of time, and great cost.

Skunks
Tim Dickinson
dickinst@crl1.crl.aecl.ca

One-line
Wilderness
Forest
Fantasy
Quest
Skunks A quest/magic spell component/item recharging ritual/whatever requires that
the group obtain the intact scent glands of 6 skunks.

Magic toys
Tim Dickinson
dickinst@crl1.crl.aecl.ca

Short
Any
Fantasy
Magic
Affliction Little magic items that charm or entrap the user. For example, a little puzzle,
made of wood and wire, that you’re supposed to manipulate into some particular
shape (you know the kind – even a Rubik’s Cube, maybe!): if the owner fails a
save, he/she becomes enraptured by it, and won’t put it down. If it’s finally
forcibly taken away, they’ll react violently for a couple of turns. Or one of
them little kaleidoscope tubes: if the person doesn’t save, they’ll continue to
stare through it and giggle. If it’s taken away, same reaction as above.

Haunted item
Tim Dickinson
dickinst@crl1.crl.aecl.ca

Short
Any
Fantasy
Horror
Investigation
Magic An item that’s haunted or cursed because it was used in the commission of a
terrible murder. It’ll move a little on its own, or tingle, or drop from your
grasp, or moan eerily, or whatever. If the murder can be investigated and maybe
solved, this behaviour will stop.

Community service
Tim Dickinson
dickinst@crl1.crl.aecl.ca

Short
Urban
City
Any
Affliction Character(s) get arrested for fighting/carrying weapons/some other obscure
law, and instead of being thrown in jail they’re forced to perform several says
(weeks?) of community service: * street cleaning
* city storage/library inventories
* stray animal extermination
* litter-bearer for someone important
* issuing summons or assisting in the arrest of particularly dangerous
people
In addition, as criminals, they’re given a big ol’ tattoo, someplace really
conspicuous.

Dyed in the wool
Tim Dickinson
dickinst@crl1.crl.aecl.ca

One-line
Urban
Any
Affliction An accident where a quantity of brightly-colored dye gets poured all over one
of the characters. Takes _weeks_ to wear off.

Curious book
Tim Dickinson
dickinst@crl1.crl.aecl.ca

Short
Any
Any
Quest The characters lay their hands on a book that has very curious things written
inside: they may lead to further adventures, or just be teasers. * the history of a land they do not know
* someone’s diary
* an index of animals, with drawings, none of which they’ve seen before
* recipes
* astronomy

“Every Which Way But Loose”
Tim Dickinson
dickinst@crl1.crl.aecl.ca

One-line
Any
Any
Affliction A friendly orangutan becomes the party’s strong, goofy and unpredictable
travelling companion for a while, whether they like it or not. See Clyde, from
the Clint Eastwood movies “Every Which Way But Loose” and “Every Which Way You
Can”.

Gruesome
Tim Dickinson
dickinst@crl1.crl.aecl.ca

Short
Urban
Fantasy
Horror
Investigation

People (not the party) get killed in bizarre ways: * crushed within a grist mill.
* skewered on the walled city’s front gate portcullis.
* struck dead by a falling cheese.
* leg held fast under the rubble of a collapsed wall, eaten alive
by stray dogs.
There can be a reason behind it all (the setup to whatever other adventure you
want), or not.

Wyrd Witch
Tim Dickinson
dickinst@crl1.crl.aecl.ca

One-line
Wilderness
Forest
Fantasy
Quest
Magic A wacky old witch in a hut in the woods, who will procure magical potions
of wondrous efficacy for anyone willing to pay the price. Each potion
requires payment of something really odd: 6 turtles, 3 double-yolker eggs,
a painting of a tree, or something equally goofy.

Pick Pockets
Tim Dickinson
dickinst@crl1.crl.aecl.ca

One-line
Urban
City
Fantasy
Investigation
Affliction Characters should get their pockets picked more often when they’re in
cities. They’re big and rich-looking, and they’ll be constant targets.
Non-stop.

Ethnic Cleansing
Tim Dickinson
dickinst@crl1.crl.aecl.ca

Short
Fantasy
Investigation
Urban
City Some locals are being murdered – some of high standing, some common
folk. The local Assassin’s Guild is carrying out the executions, under
order from a secret cult of half-elvan fanatics. Investigation will
reveal that all of those killed were half-orc, although no one knew it,
most of the time. The cult despises the idea of orcs defiling the human
heritage they share.

Demon or not Demon, that is the question
Tim Dickinson
dickinst@crl1.crl.aecl.ca

Short
Fantasy
Investigation
Urban A rumour that a local priest of high standing is a demon. He’s not, but if
your players are like mine, they beat every rumour to death, especially if
it’s demonic. The priest will hear of their investigation, and may even
start worrying and acting suspiciously: this may lead the players on even
_more_.

DARK MASS OF KOREEM-CIL
Tim Dickinson
dickinst@crl1.crl.aecl.ca

Fantasy
Medium
Quest
Investigation
Urban

The general plot: the characters have to get information about, then
infiltrate a ceremony of an evil religious sect, to save the intended
sacrifice. (Hey, does this sound familiar? Ahhh, so what?)

If the party think they the goodies, then just drop them some rumours
about the cult and its sacrificial doings. This should be sufficient to
draw in properly-played PCs. If they are not inclined to do such a thing
for nothing, then have them hired on to do so (a wealthy parent is concerned
their newly-converted child is going to be a sacrifice, or the established
local religion wants a stop put to this heathen bunch and their evil
practices).

In any case, info about the cult should be sketchy. They’ll have to sniff
out rumours about town. They’ll have to pay some snitches (who may or may
not give them good information). They should get a little too close for
someone’s comfort, and they should get attacked for it. Maybe with magic, a
curse or something serious.

Specifically, they’ll want (i) cult background and (ii) location of the next
sacrificial ceremony. The second will be very hard to get.

If some of the characters want to try to infiltrate the cult, this will be
next to impossible. Unless some _very_ convincing magical method is
possible to replace an existing cultist, they’ll be found out. If they try
to “join”, they’ll be turned away and everyone’s guard will be up.

If they manage to locate the ceremony, they’ll witness terrible magic and
nasty rites. An attempt to rescue sacrifices will be met with (i) much
priestly magic (i) moderate armed resistance. If the party is strong, and
they let the ceremony proceed at all before stepping in, they’ll be
confronted wit whatever terrible otherworldly thing the cult was attempting
to summon with the sacrifice (its notice was gained with the beginning of
the ceremony, and it is furious at the sacrifices which it did not receive:
it’ll appear and attack everyone, cultists included).

There’s also a chance that they’ll get captured themselves and get added to
the list of sacrifices. This is a good way to go if the party splits up and
comes in from two different directions, or tries to co-ordinate two
different tasks at once: one group will suddenly notice that the other has
been captured and is being led to the slaughter. This adds urgency to their
task. 😎

If this is the case, a good hook is to have the cultists do something to one
of the characters, pre-sacrifice, that is somehow permanent: a terrible
scar, or a spell, or some such. Something that they have to live with (and
role-play with) for the rest of their lives, preferably.

There’s lots of good hooks from the after effects, if they’re successful in
saving the sacrifice, or even killing off most of the cultists. They’ll earn
the undying enmity of that sect, and they’ll be after them forever. They
may get some nasty curses from the priests before they win. They may have
allowed a terrible monstrosity to be summoned, which will wreak havoc, of
course. They may even get blamed for this. Perhaps they’ll discover that
local officials or nobles were somehow illegally involved (they belong to
the cult, or have struck a black deal with them). Will they reveal such a
conspiracy? Can they really prove it?

Taken in
Robert Underwood
GEO10701022@NKU.EDU

Short
Cyberpunk
Quest
Startup
Urban The group is gathered together by Mr. Johnson. The group has a specified
goal, like blackmailing a mob boss, or performing a dangerous extraction.
The characters are promised support, if needed. They go on the job and
encounter _heavy_ resistance. The support that was promised never shows up,
the characters are hung out to dry. It would seem that the job was just a
distraction that the Corp’s solos could perform a job easily, seeing that
everybody was hunting the PC’s.

The PC’s have a reason to hate the Corp that hung them out to dry, and need
to look out for the ones that they crossed. Could even have cops, or CIA
looking for them because of the first run. Makes for an interesting, if
short, life.

Betrayal
Robert Underwood
GEO10701022@NKU.EDU

Medium
Cyberpunk
New Age
Intrigue
Startup
Urban
City

The campaign starts with a Corp hiring the PC’s, preferably the PC’s do not
know each other. The Corp is an assistant VP in some Corp. This Corp has
ideals on how a company should act, in a way that promotes the common good.
The Corp has most of the lower echelons in his division agreeing with him.
The company president prefers the traditional style of business, you know
the corporate way. The AVP cannot be removed without causing massive
disruptions in his division. So between the division and the rest of the
Corp there is animosity.

That is just the background, the characters are hired by the Corp for
typical runner purposes. The Corp will provide as much in the way of help
that he can (about level 3 or 4 of resources). Some missions will be
nothing more than “good deeds” for various people. About the third or
fourth mission the expected support will fail, bring the characters to
believe that the AVP betrayed them (he didn’t, it was a traitor in the
division).

Eventually the characters will become involved in a war for control of the
company when the old president is assassinated. The Corp will be split
almost evenly between two factions. One is lead by our AVP, he has gained
more support than he had, because he is better qualified than his opponent.

Good Cops
Robert Underwood
GEO10701022@NKU.EDU

Short
Cyberpunk
Intrigue
Startup
Urban
City

The players start out as a cop group. It is well known that the police
force is quite corrupt. After some missions (with at least one internal
affairs mission) the city decides to scrap the police force and hire
corporate police.

The city can not pay for the police force that it needs (hence the
corruption) and trades some control over policy for police protection. The
trade is quiet, the city would riot if it knew. When the corporation takes
over it fires everybody, including our players. The players should be left
in job limbo for a while. Next let them find out the “cost” of police
protection and encourage them to go public. Before the players go public
have a council member explain why the decision was made that way.

If the players get into lots of trouble, remember that the good cops will do
everything in their power to help. Of course, the players shouldn’t know
which cops are good and which work for other people.

The Magical Land of Ith
Chris Bova
chbova@vassar.edu

Matt Sernett
sernett@max.muhlberg.edu

Medium
Fantasy
Intrigue
Investigation
Quest
Any
Mind-flayer (Ithillid) What follows is a campaign idea worked out for a fantasy campaign, and it
uses monsters found in that setting, but, with a little work, you could use
it for almost any role playing system short of sci-fi ultratech.

The malevolent race known as the Illithid (Mind Flayers) can well remember
when their world Ith was a glorious paradise, when it’s black jungles
bloomed wild, when the warm, primordial oceans washed the unspoiled beaches,
when the Shrouded sunned themselves atop armorlichen spires miles high,
their razor sharp foreclaws glittering the violet light. All the Illathid
race was happy, and lived at peace, with just the right amount of
inter-racial violence to ensure nobody would get bored.

That was long ago, and now strange things are beginning to happen to the
Mind-Flayer garden of Eden. The sun of their homeworld is becoming brighter
and stronger. The seas are getting warmer, the foliage greener, and in time,
the Illathid will be driven underground. Their home planet will soon no
longer support them. Several centuries ago, the grand and glorious Order of
the Ebon Tentacle finally seized the initiative from it’s competitors and
gathered almost a thousand Illathid in the great chamber of council. Heads
bowed in reverence, the multitudes breathlessly awaited the commands of the
great mind. At last the brain pool spoke, and it ordered it’s children to
cast themselves upon the Astral seas, searching for another world, a place
where the ecology of Ith could be recreated down to the minutest detail, and
the Illithid could once again live in the relative peace of constant
interracial war. And so it was done, and not long ago, some fortunate
Illathid began a hive on a world known to it’s inhabitants as “Earth”. The
planet’s measurements seemed exact, slightly larger than Ith even, with a
comparable atmosphere and seas that had the potential to support Ith life
with some modification. But the sun there was too bright for Illathid
existence, forcing the first pioneers to take shelter underground. It was
then that they found the moon. It was worshiped as a god by the local
inhabitants, but the Illithid knew better. The moons of Ith were smaller by
far, and completely unsuitable for the purposes that the Illithid had in
mind.

Tunnelling out the centre of the moon, the Illithid plan to create a
perfectly circular chamber that is in effect a giant lifejammer helm. The
life force of thousands of living creatures will be necessary to accomplish
the goal; move the moon to a position in which it will block the sun’s
light, and hold it there. Luckily, the planet beneath is crawling with
living creatures of no particular consequence that will make excellent
sacrifices… The Shrouded would just eat them anyhow, once the ecology of
Ith is transplanted. And so was launched possibly the most half-baked plot
for world domination ever cooked up by sentient creatures that smell faintly
of squid and eat human brains.

Starting out in OverEarth
Carl Green
navarre@iafrica.com

Long
Fantasy
Quest
Startup
Any This plot describes how I started characters in a new campaign. I had begun
to envisage my new band of heroes as a weird mixture of technology and
fantasy from three basic ‘periods’, viz: the ‘normal’ fantasy time frame, a
modern (1995) period, and a futuristic, post-apocalypse period (very
Terminator 2 in feel). The characters that could fit into this strange
crossover seemed to step right out of my mind; they could include a knight
on a Harley, wielding a magic bastard sword and an ion cannon, or an elf
with cyber-enhancements, armed with longbow and Uzi machine-guns, or a
robotic warrior armed with a staff of fireballs and a copy of the
Necronomicon.

I realised that what I was trying to do was to combine all of my
inspirations, from Lovecraft to Scwarzenegger, Tolkien to 2000AD – I’m sure
you get the picture…

Right, the next phase was to design the fantasy world that would be the
starting point for the campaign. I had had the name OverEarth rolling around
in my mind for quite a while, which inspired a setting that was basically an
alternative Earth with the normal fantasy/historical time frame, magic
systems, etc. The starting point would be the island kingdom of Beorsca, off
the west coast of Uropha, and basically an alternative England…

Next I developed my arch-enemy for Beorsca, the usual vicious mage and
power-hungry tyrant, but added the twist that he was the father of
one of the PCs…

Now came the real challenge – how to start the actual campaign, how to
develop the characters, and how to provide the rationale for the ‘jumps’ to
our own present-day Earth and its post-apocalypse future

My solution to the dilemma was based upon two beliefs that I had formulated
over the years…

Firstly, that role-playing a character in a fully developed fantasy world
is almost impossible, because of the lack of frames of reference. What I
mean by this is that if I tell you to role -play someone from Paris, your
mind automatically throws out images of the Eiffel Tower, street cafes, etc,
but if I say role-play an elf from Elshaven, you have no mental images on
which to base your character.

Secondly, I had found that role-playing groups often squabble and argue at
every turn, even when playing fully in character. This arguing always seemed
to spoil the impression that the group was a cohesive whole, and it seemed
ludicrous that they remained together at all…

The solution to the first problem is simple to run, and turns out to be the
‘engine’ that drives the PCs towards their goal. In brief, I decided that
the characters had actually battled their arch-enemy across Beorsca 900
years ago, and then followed him through a gate to present (1995) Earth and
eventually to the post-apocalypse future Earth. However, when they finally
faced him (by then armed with weaponry from all three settings), he once
again stepped through a gate, trying to return to OVEREARTH. The characters
followed, and the trap was sprung. The arch-enemy sealed access out of the
gates, and the characters were trapped in an inter-dimensional limbo…

Time passes, and our PC benefactors (which could either be your campaigns
gods, or some ultra-powerful NPC) stumble/s upon the characters locked in
limbo, strips them of their techno-items, and sends them back to their home
world (in this case OVEREARTH). However, it is now 900 years later, and the
arch-enemy has just about destroyed the PC’s realm, which is now a dead
island dominated by his (expectably) demonic forces. To make matters worse,
and to really spice things up, the characters don’t have a clue who they
are, where they come from, etc. Even better, their 900 year experience in
limbo has caused their skills to atrophy, so that although they were, let’s
say 15th level, they’re now 5th level, or 1st level if you’re particularly
cruel…Thus the players don’t have to try to role-play in what in terms of
geography or history is a totally foreign world, because it is also foreign
to the CHARACTERS!

And the final twist, which accounts for the usual inter-character bickering,
is that the party’s original leader, a warrior of great skill and huge
personal charisma * is not with them when they return*. They are aware of
his (or her) absence, and cannot function as a unit without him/her.

And so the scene is set for the poor players, aware only of their names and
their rudimentary skills, to…

* find out who they are…
* find out how they got there…
* relearn their skills…
* track down their missing leader…
* track down the arch enemy…
* and pursue him once more across the dimensions…
The great part is that… * they will automatically despise the arch enemy…
* their bickering will make sense…
* their lack of knowledge of the campaign setting will make sense.

No Honour among Thieves
Quinton
quinton@sumter.cso.uiuc.edu

Short
Fantasy
Quest
Intrigue
Affliction
Urban
City The captain of the guard is in the employ of the thieves guild. When the
guild receives an item he really wants, he sets up an elaborate system to
get it. He arrests the PCs on false or trumped up charges (a good way to
get them introduced), then offers them absolution if they do him a favour.
He wants them to infiltrate the thieves guild by a secret back door and find
out some info on some item that will be showing up soon. When the PCs get
through the sewers to the guild, the captain’s men will frame them for a
robbery that just took place. The players escape the angry thieves, but get
captured by the town guard. Along the way they have picked up enough clues
to figure out what has gone on, but they can’t prove it. So they must
escape from jail and go confront the captain as he is leaving town with the
item. After this excitement, the PCs don’t have much choice to become
roving adventurers, since the thieves guild wants their heads.

From Rock to Plot
John McMullen
jhm@sentex.net

Long
Any
Any

I’ve been GMing for over a decade now. Every once in a while, people ask me
how I come up with plots. I’m not entirely sure, except that I look for
problems and then complicate them. The two most useful questions in
plotting are “Why?” and “How?” (“Who?” “Where?” “What?” and “When?” also get
a work out.)

Anyway, I thought I’d share a technique that I use when I’m absolutely
tapped out or when I can’t seem to come up with anything original. You know
the times — all you can come up with is cliche material you’ve done a
hundred times in the past. The first idea that comes to mind establishes
squatter’s rights on your frontal lobes.

(I want to emphasise that this isn’t the only technique, or the best
technique. It’s simply *a* technique that I find useful.)

The technique is to limit yourself. When you’ve got the whole wide universe
to work with, then you have *too many* possibilities. By setting arbitrary
restrictions, you remove things from consideration and narrow your focus.

You’ve already got a bunch of stuff established which places restrictions on
you. You know what genre you’re working in — that gives you a bunch of
genre conventions you can choose to work with or against. You know what
your player characters are (usually), and you probably have some sense of
location and season. All of these things are restrictions. If you’re doing
a sword and sorcery campaign, the question of aliens doesn’t come up.

That set of restrictions presumably isn’t enough (or you wouldn’t need this
technique). The next thing to do is set some arbitrary restriction: the
entire adventure takes place in a single room, for example, or the entire
adventure is built around what you did last weekend. Other possibilities
include story anthologies and (ahem) a dictionary of cliches or quotations.
The technique really relies on forcing the juxtaposition of unusual elements.

Here’s a (lengthy) example. I have a Dark Champions campaign. I know the
characters, I know the time of year, I know the city (none of which tells me
what the next story is). So I’m sitting here listening to the soundtrack
album for “Dumb and Dumber” and I decide that I’ll create a plot that
incorporates *something* from each song on the album.

Here are the songs on the album:

The Ballad of Peter PumpkinHead – Crash Test Dummies
New Age Girl – Deadeye Dick
Insomniac – Echobelly
If You Don’t Love Me (I’ll Kill Myself) – Pete Droge
Crash – The Primitives
Whiney, Whiney (What Really Drives Me Crazy) – Willi One Blood
Too Much Of A Good Thing – The Sons
You Sexy Thing – Deee-Lite
Where I Find My Heaven – Gigolo Aunts
Hurdy Gurdy Man – Butthole Surfers
Take – The Lupins
The Bear Song – Green Jelly
Get Ready – The Proclaimers

Hmm. Peter Pumpkinhead and The Bear Song suggest some kind of kid
song/nursery rhyme feel. Get Ready supports that with lines like “Fee Fi Fo
Fum.” You Sexy Thing, Too Much of a Good Thing, and If You Don’t Love Me
(I’ll Kill Myself) all suggest some kind of excess, perhaps emotional
overdrive — maybe a mind control plot? Somebody discovers a *real*
aphrodisiac and starts dumping it in the water? Someone is infatuated with
another person, makes the threats to suicide if he or she doesn’t return the
affection, but the other person’s attitude could be described as Whiney,
Whiney (What Really Drives Me Crazy).

New Age Girl is a sort-of love song to someone named Mary Moon who is (in
fact) a New Age Girl. She’s now an NPC in the adventure.

First plot that comes to mind with this: take the lowest charisma hero who
often complains he doesn’t have a love relationship and give him a groupie
(Mary Moon) who follows him around as the group tries to track down someone
who’s committing a series of thefts (Take) based on nursery rhymes. That
leaves me with Hurdy Gurdy Man, Crash, Insomniac, and Where I Find My Heaven
as plot elements to incorporate.

I don’t like it. So we’ll try again. Instead, let’s start with the
insomniac. Suppose someone has the oft-used psionic power of tangible
hallucinations and dreams. He or she knows it and has started trying to stay
awake (Insomniac). It’s not easy to make a living if you have this kind of
disability, so he or she is living as a street musician (Hurdy Gurdy Man).
That also gives us the street-level feel and makes the psionic harder to
track down. He or she has a tremendous crush on Mary Moon (we’re back to her
again).

The first hallucination is Peter Pumpkinhead, a reasonably nice fellow.
Freaked, she leaves and is pursued by other nursery-rhyme characters.
Although Peter is quite likeable, but the others (the Bear that went over
the mountain, for instance) don’t have to be. Not knowing what’s going on,
Mary seeks out the PCs; if the PCs are too hard to find, they’ll encounter
her, trapped by the Bear. This leads to both Mary and the PCs trapped in
the psionic’s ideal world (Where I Find My Heaven). It’s not pleasant for
the PCs, because he regards them as competition (Too Much of a Good Thing).
This is obvious because Mary has a crush on one of the PCs (You Sexy
Thing). This environment, combined with Mary’s information, lets them know
who they’re looking for. The PCs can get out by moving fast enough and far
enough — the psionic’s powers aren’t all-encompassing, after all.

This, with the uppers, unhinges the psionic (If You Don’t Love Me, Whiney
Whiney). The first evidence is when Peter Pumpkinhead (trustworthy up until
now) turns psychotic.

In the meantime, (1) the psionic, worried, has been awake on uppers long
enough for hallucinations to start anyway, and (2) our villain of the piece
has figured out where these nursery-rhyme apparitions are coming from, and
is also searching for the psionic.

Still to include: Take (a robbery of some kind?) and Crash.

The bad guy catches the psionic, uses hypnosis or mind control to generate
some truly unpleasant hallucinations to perform robberies (Take), including
running an armoured car off the road (Crash) and picking up the money.

The good guys catch up, there is a fight and the problem of what to do with
the psionic. I leave that up to the players.

Now, a lot of the details still need to be worked out, but there’s a basic
setup, antagonist, and conflict.

Not entirely without cliches (to really eliminate cliches, you’d have to
know the characters better), but it’s certainly different than what I would
have come up with otherwise.

Anyway, it’s a technique I find useful, so I thought I’d share it for those
who are having trouble jump-starting their plots.

A ship of fools
Ketil Z Malde
ketil@ii.uib.no

Short
Fantasy
Horror
Quest
Affliction
Ship The characters need to cross some ocean. It is difficult to get hold of a
ship, but finally one merchant offers to sell them one. The price can be
discussed – a lot. Now the reason the ship is sold cheap if necessary, is
that it is a ghost ship. The previous captain was killed by the second in
command when he discovered what they were *really* doing (Smuggling?
Worse?) Now, the ghost will control the ship, and no matter how the players
try, it will quietly Β«drift offΒ» towards the island where the previous
captain was killed. The players will experience his death in their dreams,
some as the victim, some as the perpetrator. On the island, another ship
will be arriving shortly with the murderer abroad, and the ghost will appear
and explain that he must be avenged, and will show them a treasure if they
do it. Of course, what the players do might have consequences for their
social position etc, depending on how they do it.

The characters are ambushed lightly, and when the ambushers run away, they
leave behind a sack. The sack contains a small faerie, gnome, or whatever,
who wants the characters to help them open a gate to Arcadia. The gate
turns out to be a frozen lake, and the only way to melt it is to remove the
church that is being built not too far away…and perhaps a sacrifice is
necessary.

Returned veterans
Mike Jones
MIKEJONES@safripol.senchem.co.za

Short
Fantasy
Startup
Affliction
Any I had a team that had played together for about three years. Unfortunately
the team was about to fragment due to people moving for work. We finished
the campaign with an extended and excellent war.

This led to the ideal opportunity to start off the new characters as newly
enlisted men pulled into the system by a “draft bill” This allowed me to let
them all know one another and also it afforded me the chance of letting them
start with more powerful characters for the basic training that they went
through. This pleased the older players who just shelved experienced
characters Additionally it opens the way for reasons why less suited
characters would want to be multi-classed fighter-anything. Now with the
returning heroes of the war they feel inadequate. All of the available jobs
are being snatched by anyone who killed a worm let alone an Orcish
commander. So the party are forced to seek an alternative livelihood. Roll
on adventuring.

“Save the good dragon from the evil princess- pt1”
James Tackett
jtackett@lightspeed.net

Short
Fantasy
Quest
Any
Dragon

In the first net plot book, there is a quick adventure idea summed up as:
“Save the good dragon from the evil princess”

Some suggestions

Evil Princess intent on overthrowing her parents, but lacking the needed
backing among the leaders of the army, has managed to locate an Arcane and
purchase (with monies/items stolen from the kingdoms treasury) an
amulet/ring/potion/item which allows her to control the dragon which for
generations has helped protect the (select compass direction) borders and
mountain passes of the kingdom from marauders and invading forces. The
dragon under her control has been attacking outlying areas and the
population is in an uproar. The forces of evil, alerted by the princess
that her plan is beginning to bear fruit, are moving towards the kingdom.
The king has suspicions, the general knows what’s up, but can not take
direct action against the princess, the court wizard is away at the time
(arranged by the princess, false leads on an ancient artefact etc). The only
hope for the kingdom is that heroes will arise and release the dragon from
the princesses control, and bring to light the entire plot so that the king
can banish her and make her younger sister the true and good heir. If the
heroes should fail, the entire kingdom will be cast into a era of darkness
and evil.

“Save the good dragon from the evil princess- pt2”
Rick DiTullio
rditulli@forest.drew.edu

Short
Fantasy
Quest
Any
Forest
Dragon

Just to add my own thoughts on this interesting idea.
“Save the good dragon from the evil princess”

The dragon in question does not have to be full grown. Imagine the evil
princess holding a dragon egg or hatchling ransom to force the local dragon
population to do her bidding.

To adapt this to a forest scenario use a faerie dragon protector of an
ancient forest. Or even have the whole thing be an illusionary romp caused
by the dragon!

Lastly, imagine the evil princess gaining control of the court wizard’s
psuedodragon familiar. This is possibly worse than ransoming the dragons
depending on the wizard’s level!

Behold Such Beauty
John A. Murphy
jam@philabs.research.philips.com

Long
Fantasy
Quest
Wilderness

This scenario is best played a bit light-hearted. It starts with the party
entering a very remote village, Village. This village is far removed from
normal government dealings and as such they have their own small local
monarchy. As the party approaches there is great unrest in the town
square. There are trappings as if a festivity is about to commence, but the
townsfolk, also known as the Village People, are very concerned about
something. Anyone they ask will point them to the garrison commander,
Moostard (a colonel), who can relate the story.

“The town was preparing to celebrate the 16th birthday of the
princess. The country side was invited for a great feast. But
lo, this morning when the princess was not to be found we
checked and found that her room had been breached and she had
been kidnapped.”

(Any clues or ideas who has taken her?)

“We suspect the black robed worshipers of Evil Mackricks. A
hideous band of clerics that terrorised this area decades
ago with the aid of terrible beasts.
We found a black mace in her bedroom. They used a ladder to
climb up to her window. She must have put up a struggle as the
room was in disarray.
[ if there are any optional witnesses they will report of
black cloaked individuals who, if anyone was close enough,
had the symbol of a giant eye on their chest ]

(What was the princesses name?)

[look a bit flustered, look at your notes then answer] Beauty.
Princess Beauty. She was very beautiful, renown for her charm
and demeanour.

(Why?)

The Emaks haven’t been heard from in a long time. From what
little memory I have, they gave sacrifices to their deity (Ram)
on the night of a new moon….that would be tonight! Over the
past few months there have been a couple of others who have
disappeared. We had no clue to their disappearance and thought
they were the victims of monsters or bandits.

(Why us?)

The garrison is not very large. Most of the patrols are out
on multi-day patrols and aren’t due back for at least another
full day.

(Where?)

Over the river and through the woods to grandmother willow you go.
From there its over hill and dale. They came on horses so they
should be trackable.

The party should have little trouble following the tracks and finding the
valley. They should be approaching the temple about sundown. The temple is
in a shallow valley. The clerics should have at least a few guards or
patrols, avoidance is a fine way of dealing with them.

The main temple is a long building built into the side of the valley. The
building has a large set of double doors, a single large eye is centred on
the doors. There is a small stable that is adjacent to the front of the
temple. A small door leads from the stable to the temple. There is a
stable hand that is armed with a pitchfork in the stable along with a few
horses among the stalls.

If the party is able to approach quietly they can enter from either the
front doors, which open quietly and are not currently locked, or from the
stable. Both lead into a small anteroom. The back wall of the anteroom is
covered with a large heavy curtain.

As the party peeks through the curtain they can see the main temple area. It
is dimly lit by several torches and braziers. Several of the pews have
initiates in them. At the far end is the alter. A priest is concluding
some sort of ceremony. The princess is chained, standing on the far side of
the altar facing a statue. The statue is made of stone and is that of a
large round (2 meter diameter) creature with one large eye in the centre.
The creature also has several eye stalks (appendages ending in a small eye)
sprouting off of it. The centre eye is made of a huge ruby, about the size
of two large fists. The eyes at the end of each eye stalk are about the
size of a regular human eye and are of various types including emerald
sapphire, onyx, etc.

The priest at the altar is finishing a ceremony that concludes with his arms
outstretched. The centre eye of the statue begins to glow and the light
slowly begins to extend until it envelopes the princess. After a few
seconds the princess collapses, her pallor now a dull grey. This entire
process takes less than a minute.

If the party doesn’t intercede at this point the priest will continue with
the physical sacrifice of the princess’s body. This will result in the
unalterable death of the princess. What the party must do is intercede and
rescue the body of the princess as well as the centre jewel from the
statue. The ruby is hollow and if held up to the light, the face of the
princess can be seen almost as a reflection or a ghost within. To restore
the princess the party must merely break the ruby with the body of the
princess close by.

Most of the initiates are not well trained and have Mediocre combat
ability. The priest and optional acolytes have Fair or Good combat ability
plus some magical ability. Along the back wall is a concealed door that
leads to other chambers including a jail area (with jailer and optional
prisoners), some storage rooms, and the private quarters for the priest.

Ultimately if the party does not succeed and the clerics continue on their
way, they will continue to steal souls until they can animate their deity.

Fortress of the Sender
John A. Murphy
jam@philabs.research.philips.com

Long
Fantasy
Quest
Wilderness
Castle This works best with a party that contains a thief. The party is in the
capital city of Gunthenor for the first time. It is usually appropriate for
thieves to visit or register with the local guild. Alternately, a member of
the guild may seek them out, make friends and then later try to steer them
with a tip if the party is looking for an adventure or work.

The guild master (or new friend), Nelbin, should eventually meet up with the
party. He isn’t someone to be totally trusted, although this has to be
discovered over time. He isn’t evil, just has his own agenda. He is or has
been a thief at some point in his life. He doesn’t relate all he knows and
tries to paint a picture of a ruthless baron practically kidnapping his
friend. He doesn’t want to tell the party too much, because if captured
they won’t know anything. He is concerned that the baron might become
proactive if he finds out that someone is trying to check up on him.

Nelbin relates the following:

Up in the remote Northlands the local baron has unjustly
imprisoned a friend [maybe]. I ask you to rescue a personal
friend [true] who did no wrong other than travelling through
the area with too many gems in his possession [partial truth].
I have tried to rescue him myself, but failed [lie]. I was
captured, and let go with a stern warning [lie]. I do not
believe I would be so lucky if my face was seen again [true].

(What’s your friends name?)

Leafloc, an elf and a good archer. [a good thief too]

(Where exactly is it?)

An associate of mine, Prelenna, can act as a guide. She is a
good guide, but not much of a fighter. She will take you to the
keep, but will not enter.

This tale is full of half-truths. The baron worries the guild and Nelbin in
particularly. The baron has risen to power in a remote area, the wild woods
of the Northlands. Information and intelligence on him is limited. Nelbin
knows he likes to stay secluded, but has allies within the governmental
hierarchy. He has shun any contact with the guild. Attempts to contact him
have gone unanswered, sometimes the messenger doesn’t return. The baron has
a strong hold on his territory and works both sides of the legal fence. He
conducts raids on some towns or trade routes, while others are protected.
No one is aware of any of this.

Nelbin first met the baron [he thinks] face to face after he was captured
after infiltrating the barons main [he thinks] fortress. He was sneaking
around inside the fortress when something landed at his feet. Whatever it
was caused the immediate area to go completely silent. He turned and saw a
man with bright yellow eyes at the end of the hallway staring at him. Then
he heard strange words in his mind that he recognised as some kind of spell,
soon after he fell fast asleep. When he awoke he was imprisoned.

Nelbin is a Good thief and was finally able to escape. Over time he was
able to collect enough pieces of scrap metal to create a crude pick. He
then slunk in the shadows of night until he reached a small store room.
There he was able to create a secret/false hole in one wall and make his
escape.

Unbeknownst to Nelbin is that the baron is of a strange race called the
Senders [ see below ]. Nelbin also doesn’t realise that his run in was with
the barons only son.

The stronghold is in the wilderness of the north. This particular
stronghold is not the barons main quarters, but merely one of several
outposts. The baron is known to maintain patrols over a large area. What is
not known is that the baron maintains odd alliances. The fortress is
currently being guarded by a band of goblins. In other areas the baron has
employed humans, mercenaries, orcs, and even an ogre or two. He tries to
keep racial skirmishes to a minimum by separating races where he can. As
far as the baron knows, his prisoner is a poor thief he caught
investigating. The Sender at this particular outpost turns out not to be
the baron, but the barons only son. The guards at his outposts are well fed
and organised. Usually reporting to a human captain.

The structure is a 2 story keep, two guard towers in the front with a
battlement that runs across the front and halfway down the east/west sides.
There are few windows. The front battlement covers a small courtyard that
doubles as a small stable area. Oil holes and an arrow slit over the centre
aid in the defence of larger scale assaults. If they have hot oil prepared
is up to you. Tree cover makes it reasonably easy to approach.

Size of the structure and the number of guards is dependent on how strong
the party is and how difficult the rescue is intended to be. The storage
room is located in a back corner, there is some shrubbery and undergrowth in
front of the hole.

The stairs in the middle of the structure give an idea of where the stairs
leading down to the jail area are. Obviously the inside needs to be
detailed. If a full lower level is desired it can also be detailed.


+—-( )——-( )—-| |—-( )——( )——+
| | | |
| tower | battlement area | tower |
|__________| _ _ _ _ _|_ _ _|_ _ _ _ _ |___________|
| | | |
| | | |
| b. a. b. a. |
| | | |
^ ^
v | | v
| |
| _ _ _ _ _| | _ _ _ _ _ |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| |_| |
| |_| |
|___ |-| |
| | |-| |
|SR| |
| | |
+x—( )———————————-( )——+

If the party is able to make the break out and escape, but does not kill the
Sender, they hear as they are making their break:

“My father the baron will be greatly angered by this….”


The Senders

A race of humans that have the gift of limited telepathy. They can speak
to humans and most intelligent humanoids using their mind. The recipient
can hear the Senders thoughts as if they were clearly spoken in their native
language. The Senders can not read a persons thoughts, just place their
thoughts as if spoken. Senders have a minimum of Good intelligence. It is
unknown if the Senders are a separate race, or a human mutation. The
Senders ten to have been either leaders of men or persecuted by the fearful.

The Party
Jonas Steverud
d4jonas@dtek.chalmers.se

One-line
Any
Exploration
Wilderness
Forest The PCs, who are travelling through a forest, comes out into a bigger
clearing and finds out that there is a party going on there. What/Who has
arranged the party and if the PCs are welcome is up to the GM.

Symbolica
Jonas Steverud
d4jonas@dtek.chalmers.se

Short
Fantasy
Quest
Intrigue
Any The PCs are contacted in some way (by rich person in an inn? πŸ˜‰ )
and this is the story which are told for them:

The master, of the one who contacts the PC, has a slight problem. The
master is a wizard and he owns a book, called Symbolica, which has some
*very* powerful spells in it (Ie. the wizard in the team might want it
himself). But Symbolica is stolen! The master knows who the thief is,
another wizard, and where he is. The master cannot pick it up himself
because of reasons the PCs won’t understand. Therefore he asks the PCs to
help him, and he will pay them richly if they fulfil the task. The PCs sets
off and do the quest. But it is one thing they overlooked: the truth!

This is the truth: The so-called thief is the rightful owner! The PCs master has
fooled them! The master has also set out another team of adventurers who’s
task is to follow the PCs and make sure they fulfil their task. The second
team are told that the PCs is doing this task as a punishment for a crime
they have committed. When the PCs finally has discovered the truth they
find themselves in a very delicate situation:

1) Their original master is mad at them (for not fulfilling their task
and/or discovering the truth).

2) The rightful owner is mad at them (quite obviously!).

3) The second team don’t know what they should think and might decide to
fight the PCs (Depending on how much the second team knows.) They
maybe don’t know the truth and continue with their mission – to force
the PCs to deliver the book.

No friends, no money, only wounds and enemies. I think they will think it
over once or two before they says yes to their next adventure…

A Royal Murder
Jonas Steverud
d4jonas@dtek.chalmers.se

Short
Fantasy
Quest
Investigation
Any The PCs are at the border on their way into a new kingdom. Shortly
after the border, or just before it, they are contacted by a man who
claims he is a nobleman and he needs their help.
This is the story he tells them. “For some years ago this country was
a happy country. There were peace and the people were well fed.
Everybody was happy and it was a healthy kingdom. But there was a
snake in the paradise: Duke Foo (Call him something that’s would make
sense depending on your world). He had an eager longing for the crown
and for three years ago he took it with the help of foreign help. The
old king, and some of the noblemen who where loyal to him [the man
lowers his head in a gesture that means that he’s on of them], were
send in exile.
The kingdom was sent into terror. People with opinions which didn’t
please the king where killed. Good men and women where tortured and
killed for the sheer pleasure of the king. The once happy nation was
now a frightened country!
For two and a half years the rightful king has been abroad but never,
*never*, lost faith in once again come back and making justice! I am
sent forward to make sure that the rightful king can enter his castle
safely and it is in that task I need your help. I need your help to
assassinate the pretender-king!”
The PCs get some extra details (like a map of the castle) and afterwards the
sets off onto their task of justice.
How far they comes before they discover the truth is up to you but
they should get the chance of really, really screwing things up.
The truth is: the nobleman was lying.
For some years ago the country was not happy, it was in terror -the
terror of the king. After a while one of the noblemen was sickened by it
and created a revolution and put himself in the throne. The new king is
not a good king but his intentions are good. He wants to put things
right and to make the country a happy nation. He has succeeded in
some parts and the people love him (they will love anyone who threw
out the old king). The old king was send into exile together with some
noblemen. That part of the story is correct, the fake part is the
parts where the government of each king is described.
What the PCs now are going to do is to kill the good king and to
reinstall the evil one.
Nice plans eh? Just watch out when you tell the players the truth.
They might be angry… πŸ˜‰
Well, I think they should have a fair chance of discover the truth
themselves, *before* everything goes out of hand. But if they overlook
the evidence…. Make them suffer…

A Mansion Tale
Jonas Steverud
d4jonas@dtek.chalmers.se

Short
Horror
Investigation
Building

This is one of my better adventures, the problem is that I didn’t
GM it correctly so the players didn’t get scared. πŸ™
Tip: Read “The Shadow over Innmouth” (sp?) by Lovecraft first.

On a medium big island (4-6 miles across) there is a village and a mansion a
mile or two from the village. A forest lies around the mansion, which is
next to the sea. The mansion is own by an eccentrically man who only has one
servant. He also have a brother in some big city (who’s a doctor).

One day when one of the people in the village comes up to the mansion for
some purpose he discovers that the front door is partly open. In one room he
finds all the furniture put away up against the walls and a lot of signs is
carved in (with a knife or similar) into the floor, walls and roof. On the
middle of a big symbol there is a body, recognised as the brother of the
master of the mansion dead, sacrificed. The servant and mansion owner are
no-where to be seen. The villager sends for help.

Tahadaah… The players enter the scene from the left… πŸ™‚

During the search in the house they goes into the kitchen and then out of it
(nothing interesting there, they shouldn’t be allowed to investigate too
much here…). After a couple of minutes they find that they are missing one
of the NPCs (anyone you like) who was following them. They finds him in the
kitchen, killed with a meataxe with tremendous force. They haven’t heard
anything! They should realise that someone (some_thing_?) was in the kitchen
WHEN THEY WHERE THERE TOO! Dahdahdaahda!

It’s the servant (who is 800% insane and lives in the forest on the island)
who killed him, when returning to steal some food.

Handouts:

A letters from the mansion owner’s brother. They are talking about what a
grandfather did to his daughter (married her to a Deep One, but that’s not
said straight out) and in that way “put this curse on our family”. He also
talks about fact that he has found a medication against this (“my eyes are
once again normal and I don’t have to wear sun goggles in the middle of the
winter”). He also says that he “comes home to cure you my dear brother, even
though it seems that you don’t realised what a curse this is”. The last
letter says that the brother arrives the night before the man from the
village finds his body and ends with “Stay out of the water, for God’s
sake!”. You may also give them a unfinished letter from the Mansion owner
saying he is rejecting the offer. He thinks the grandfather did the right
thing.

What has happened:

Persons involved: The Mansion owner, who is Deep Ones (or “Deep-Ones-will-
be”); his doctor brother (who doesn’t want to be one); the mansion owner’s
servant.

The mansion owner thinks the Deep Ones connection is the best thing
that has ever has happened to him (there are letters telling about this in
the doctor brother’s home and they both write diaries). When the
doctor-brother arrives late at night his brother is prepared. With the help
of his servant (they both completely insane) he strikes down the doctor and
sacrifices him to some Outer God. The servant now extremely insane (SAN=
-[VERY big number] πŸ˜‰ ) runs away out into the woods (it is he who kills
the NPC in the kitchen when he tries to collect some food. He will later try
to escape to the mainland and run to some place, not even himself knowing
where to (maybe a secret temple, but that’s another story)). The mansion
owner escapes down a tunnel to the ocean, down to a Deep One-City.

Home of the Happy Hobbit
John A. Murphy
jam@philabs.research.philips.com

17-JAN-1996 11:31:57.71
Long
Investigation
Startup
Fantasy
Building
Cave This is a good initial party get together, that works well for an
initial or first time adventure. Someone needs to be a thief, best if
he is just starting out. Since this is used as a characters initial
adventure it tends to steer and have more of a fixed story line than
many scenarios. (p.s. I avoiding typing he/she in many places, not because
I don’t want to be PC, but rather I think it reads easier.)

Note: Some GM only notes are included at points in [ ]’s, frequently it
bits of text that may be read directly to the player(s).

GENERAL BACKGROUND (optionally read to player(s)):

Years ago in the small village of Dillow, a hobbit named Pilar
(pronounced Pee-lar) retired from adventuring and opened up a small
inn, “The Home of the Happy Hobbit”, a two- or three-storey structure
with basic kitchen & dining services, a bar, and a few private rooms to
rent. While some suspect Pilar used to be an adventuring thief, he
denies it and uses colourful metaphors and ambiguous language to
describe his previous experiences.

“Oooo, if I only had a gold piece for every time I’ve been
misunderstood/misquoted/misplaced/misjudged/misbegotten/
misinterpreted/misguided/missing-in-action/miserable…….”

In general he is fair with his customers and is more interested in a
relaxing livelihood, than squeezing his patrons for a few extra coppers.

The inn itself was nondescript for awhile, but soon began to make a name for
itself. They have the ability to serve ice cold drinks even on the
hottest of summer days. You can also get cheese, milk, and fruit out
of season; things you can’t even get at the inns in the larger cities.
Pilar is the only one who knows the secret and he has yet to tell anyone.
His part time helpers are mostly members of his extended family/clan.

GM PLOT TOUR and OVERVIEW:

Dillow has a small garrison, <30 guards, who patrol the countryside in an effort to keep order and monsters in their place. Usually there are no more than 5 to 10 guards in town. The captain of the guard is a human named Wooten. The main player character is the thief. The thief's tutor, Pilar the hobbit and innkeeper, is murdered and the PC is accused of the crime. Unknown to any of the players, Pilar has a basement that leads to some cooled caves. He recently stumbled on a new fissure that eventually led to an ancient finished dungeon corridor. The corridor eventually dead ended at a cave in. There was also a room that looked either unfinished or caved in, but Pilar discovered that the rubble appeared to be silver ore. Knowing little about mining, but knowing from his adventuring days that many dwarves have knowledge of mining, he has been on the look out for a dwarf, or more precisely a miner. He has tried extracting some of the ore himself, but created a small cave in that almost buried him. Pilar's actions were noticed by an unknown adversary (possibly an innkeeper from a nearby city who wanted Pilar's secret of cold drink) who sent a FAIR half-orc assassin (named Ugluk) to Dillow under the guise of a miner named Draggard. Draggard showed up in town and having been briefed on some very basic mining terms, was able to convince Pilar that he could help him. Pilar swore him to secrecy, got him to sign some form of a contract, and then took him to his secret cave. The hobbit explained how he had taken a small bit out, found it to be silver ore of decent quality and had been unsuccessful in extracting any large quantity. As the conversation progressed it started to become evident that Draggard didn't know mining from a hole-in-the-ground (so to speak). As Pilar was just starting to get suspicious, Daggard took the ice dagger he had broken off in the ice cave and killed Pilar with a vicious back stab. What Daggard did NOT know, was that the door to this dead-end dungeon room had a hidden catch that left it locked from the inside. The catch is in the door frame right at floor level. Pilar found it, when he was in a similar situation as the door frame by the catch was slightly worn. Daggard is trapped, scared, and foreseeing himself starving to death, although he thinks that someone will find the way down here sometime today or tomorrow. As he waits he thinks of a plan. CHARACTERS, WITH POSSIBLE STARTING LOCATIONS * Thief, just starting out under Pilar’s instructions
* Warrior, hired member of the guard or even captain of the guard
* Priest or druid, accused defence aid or impartial arbitrator
* Any dwarf or person with mining skill. Pilar will want to meet him
and may have scheduled a meeting for the day of the murder
* Any class, lone patron at the inn
* Any class, resident of the town or nearby countryside
* Any class, just passing through, and/or waiting for the inn to open

BACKGROUND for thief player (optionally read to all players):
[ This character may have grown up in or around Dillow. There are
many farms and large woodlands in the surrounding countryside. ]

Pilar, the local innkeeper, is by far the most colourful individual in
the village. You have always been fascinated by his stories of
adventuring. His stories of adventuring have always fuelled your
imagination. Going into deep dark dungeons, fighting evil monsters,
and finding precious and magical gems seem almost dreamlike
compared to this sleepy little town. Over the years you have found
yourself helping out at the inn and fancy yourself to be a protege of
Pilar’s. He has shown you several “tricks of the trade” including
how to pick simple locks (“I’ve only done this when the owner forgot
his key or if I was curious as to what was inside”, insists Pilar),
how to sneak about quietly in shadows, and even how to scale a wall.

[ Make up an specific tales you feel will appeal to the character,
sometimes explaining why a “thief” is not a bad thing to be. ]

THE STORY (as presented to the thief character):

It is a slow time in Dillow. Pilar’s inn has no boarders.
[ possible exception is to have one of the PCs to be the only boarder ]

Recently, however, Pilar has been noticed to be rather excited about
something. He has been seen around town asking people if they know any
dwarves.

[ Specific individuals may have even been asked if they know anything
about mining. If someone investigates enough they may be able to learn
that Pilar has recently purchased some mining equipment (shovels etc.) ]

You wander into town and immediately notice that the inn is still dark
and closed. Usually Pilar is open by now, serving the occasional
breakfast. There are no lights on inside.

[ If at this point the character asks around he MAY find out that
yesterday Pilar was seen talking with an ugly stranger. ]

[ If one of the players characters was staying at the inn, they
found themselves locked out last night and had to go stay in
a farmers barn. They plan on coming back into town later to
have a word with Pilar, but that is later. ]

[ Hopefully the character will now be asked to do some
roleplaying and try to enter the inn. ]

[ If checked, the door and windows are locked]

Your curiosity is aroused and since Pilar has shown you several
times how to pick the lock, it only takes you a moment to open the
door (after all you help out here, you’re practically an employee!).

Inside, all is quiet, too quiet. You look around, it doesn’t look
like Pilar finished cleaning up last night. There are a few tables
that haven’t been cleared. There is no fire in the fireplace either.
You notice that the kitchen door behind the bar is open, which is very
unusual.

[ There is nothing else out of place, perhaps some unwashed glasses
on the bar. ]

As you enter the kitchen you notice that the door to the basement
stairs (under the stairs that lead upstairs) is also open.

[ If the character proceeds. ]

You slowly descend the stairs into the darkness. The creak of the
stairs sound especially loud in the eerie silence.

[ There is a lantern hanging at the bottom of the stairs if needed. ]

You find yourself in the basement storeroom. Boxes and barrels
fill the room, in some places from floor to ceiling. The room is
filled with an abundance of odours from the containers. Off in
one corner you see some shovels, torches, and rope.

You are about to leave when you feel a chill. You give one more look
around and notice some boxes in one corner seem out of
place. You look behind those boxes and you see an open trap door with
a ladder
leading down into a rough hewn passage.

[ Assuming the character continues…. ]

You proceed down the ladder, finding it a bit odd as you realize
the rung spacing is intended for someone shorter than yourself
[ OK, so I’m assuming the character isn’t a hobbit ]

You find yourself in a rough passageway. It seems like it
might be a natural fissure, with minimal working to make it
wider in a few places. It slopes down slowly. After 50 or
60 feet of rough twisty passage you come to a crude door.
On closer inspection, it is really a very heavy curtain.

As you slide the curtain to one side you are met by a very cool blast
of air. Inside is a crude chamber with rough walls, a few stalagmites
and stalactite, and yet more containers, some cheeses, and kegs of beer.
The ceiling and walls are very damp. Looking around, you see in the
far corner behind a stalagmite is another crude trap door. This one
is at a 45 degree angle between the floor and the wall. The hinges
are on the top of the door.

[ If they look carefully they will see a hook mechanism
that can hold the door open. ]

Pulling open the trap door, you are met with a freezing cold breeze.
A small opening leading steeply down is revealed. You notice a muddy
rope has been tied to the stub of a stalagmite and has been fed
down the hole. As you start to make your way down you start losing your
footing as it gets very slippery [ check Dex ]. You slide down the rest of
the way, figuring your total descent to be at least 40 feet. The last 5
feet is a drop off, leaving you on your butt, and a cold one at that.
Looking about, you have entered a small underground ice cave. Ice
stalagmites and stalactites abound in this 100 foot circular cavern. A
small pool is visible on the far side. You can hear the sound of dripping
and/or running water. The ice glitters like diamonds.

[ This is what it appears to be, a super cooled cave from an unknown
source. There are no diamonds here. An ice toad lives in the pool,
which Pilar knows of and now knows to avoid. The to/from destination
of the feed stream for the pool is not detailed, nor is the full
reason for the ice cave.

The floor is slippery, rough, and uneven. If the floor is examined
at the entry point, a path/trail (.) can be found that winds through
the cave, avoiding the pool, and leads over to the other opening.

** If the stalagmites along the path are ALL CAREFULLY examined,
** one of the smaller ones can be found to be flattened, having been
** recently broken off. This clue should NOT be given out easily.

]

You see between the stalagmites a passage that leads back, sloping
upwards slightly. The going is rough as the floor is slick. The rough
passage winds back a little bit and then unexpectedly turns into a
finished corridor. The stone work on the walls seems extraordinarily
good…..and old. The passage way leads straight back for about 50
feet or so, ending in a cave-in of rubble. Oddly enough, there is a
door about 40 feet along the right hand wall.

[ This next part need to be played out carefully. Daggard is trapped
inside. He will probably hear if the person makes any kind of noise
coming down the corridor or checking the door. The following is
only one possible scenario. ]

You carefully open the door. It goes in a little bit and then opens up
into a room. You can see what appears to be Pilar lying face down. You
take a step into the room and are shoved from behind. You fall to your
knees and you are just able to make out someone human sized running out
of the room.

[ If the character takes off after Daggard….. ]

As you come out of the room you see the fleeing person is at the end
of the hall, going out of sight round the bend. His footsteps echo
loudly in the otherwise silent surroundings.

[ At this point you should allow the person to chase, keeping the
culprit in sight, but not gaining ground significantly. If the person
is able to make the proper dice rolls, you might allow them to
grab a foot when going up the slippery chute or the ladder, but
then give Daggard a good chance at kicking them off.

After following Daggard closely, as they reach the kitchen/bar
area they can see/hear Daggard bursting out of the inn and shouting
“Murderer! Murderer!” to the captain of the guard who happens to
be in the street in front of the inn with a couple of guards.
]

[ If the character takes their time and looks around the room first… ]

The room is long and narrow. One side ends in a finished wall, the
other ends in a caved-in mess of rubble. There is a wheelbarrow full
of wet dirt near the rubble. There are no other pieces of mining
equipment. Pilar is lying face down, between the wheelbarrow and
the door. He is pointed towards the rubble. Upon examination he
is found dead from a some sort of stab wound to the back.

[ At this point they will probably leave to find out more. By the
time the character gets up to the first floor, he will be met at
the door by the Wooten (the captain), two guards, and Daggard.

In either case, something resembling the following ensues.

– Daggard spins a tale which includes the following points
– He had a meeting scheduled with Pilar today, about mining
– Finding the inn dark, but the front door open he proceeded
down the various passage ways, much like the character did
– He found you standing over the body and ran back to tell the captain

– As the character raises objections, Daggard tries to dispel them.
– Daggard is willing to be searched, even suggesting it if no one brings
it up. Furthermore, Daggard suggests searching the inn, passageways,
and the room itself for the weapon.
The results of such a search reveal NO pointed weapons or tools.
There are no spikes or picks among the mining equipment.
Searching the final room and rubble reveals no weapon.
– If the character happens to have a dagger or pointed weapon, Wooten
can examine it and tell that it doesn’t have any blood on it,
and it doesn’t appear to have been used recently and/or doesn’t
match the stab wound.

As this goes on, part of Daggard’s natural personality should come out. He
is a half-orc and is very abrasive and ugly to boot. He is also slippery
and a stranger in town. Wooten would like to believe the character, but
doesn’t trust Daggard. If the character is having trouble figuring out
the puzzle part, have Wooten ask some leading questions, but do NOT solve
it for the character. Have the other characters help if need be. Maybe
the contract between Pilar and Daggard can be found. As a last resort
maybe someone will notice the broken ice stalagmite along the ice cave path.

The key is the wet dirt in the wheelbarrow. That is where Daggard put
the ice dagger after stabbing Pilar. Wooten is willing to take the
characters word especially after Daggard gets a scared look in his eye
when the key piece of evidence is explained.

Maybe the characters will get a reward. Maybe Daggard will confess and
name his employer. Do with it what you will.

If the characters are later allowed to enter dig into the tunnel after
the cave-in, what wonders they find is up to you….
]


The “The Home of the Happy Hobbit” basic map:

Map Key:
| or – : wall
| | : door in horizontal wall
= : small door in vertical wall
|xxx| : heavy/locked door
< > : window
# : rock, or inaccessible
. : path
% : cave-in or rubble
$ : silver ore
V or > : slope in direction indicated
{ : water, pool or stream
S : ice stalagmite and/or stalactite
m : shovels and misc. mining equipment
w : wheelbarrow
P : Pilar’s body

Ground Floor:

+———————–|xxx|———————-+
| = =s __| |
| | Kitchen/ =t _ | |
|—raised floor——-| Upper store|a _ | ^
|______________________| |i – |
| B A R ! | |r – | v
|___________________!__|____________|s . | |
| | fire | |
| +——-+ |
| |
^ ^
( various benches, chairs, & tables )
v v
| |
| |
| |
+—-| |————< >—————< >——+

Upper Floor:

+—< >———-< >——————————-+
| | s __| |
| medium = t _ | |
| private | +————+a _ | ^
| room | |############|i – |
|————–| |############|r – | v
| cheap | +——–+###|s . | |
| private = | fire |########| |
| room | +——–+——–+ |
|————–| | | |
^ | = Pilar’s = Pilar’s ^
large | | Office | Room
v expensive | +———–+ v
| private | | cheap | |
| room = = private | |
| | | room | |
+—————-< >———————-< >——+

Lower Level:

############## -|xxx|————+############################################
############## = = |############################################
############## | Kitchen/ +-||-+############################################
############## | Upper store| _ |######## > ### ######################
############## | | – |###### > #######V## #####################
############## | | – |###### ######### | (cool ##################
############## |____________| . |#+—–+############ room) ##################
############## | fire |###| +-+ X|############ ###################
############## +——-+###| basement |############# ###################
############################| storeroom |################ X ##################
############################|m |#################V###################
############################+———–+#################V###################
##########################################################V###################
##########################################################V###################
##########################################################V###################
########################################################## ###################
######################################################### ##################
###################################################### .. ###############
############################################ … S S ##########
##$$$$####################################### S ….. S S #####
#$$$$##——————+################# S S . S #######
#$$$$$$$% w |############### S . S S S ######
#$$$$%$$ P |############# S … S . S S ####
$$$$$$$%% |########### S .S ….S S S S ###
##$$$$$$—–+ +——–+############## .. S ######
##$##$#$#####| |######################### .S S S S S #######
———-%%–||——–###############.S.. S (ice cave) S ####
<-UNKNOWN %%% #### > > ..S S S ###
——–%%%————-## # ############ S {{{ #####
########################## #################### {{{{{{{{ #######
###################################################### {{{{{{{{{{{{{ ########
#######################################################{{{{{(pool){{{{{#######
#########################################################{{{{{{{{{{###########
#########################################################{###{{{{#############
########################################################{######{##############
#######################################################{{#######{{############
#####################################################{{##########{{###########

DECEIT AT DEJU
Colin Steele
colin@aol.net

18-JAN-1996 09:35:23.44
Long
Sci-Fi
Investigation
Building

Introduction:

This is a short (and somewhat hackneyed, but still fun) sci-fi
adventure I’ve run a few times. The results are usually quite good if
you can create the proper atmosphere. Think Aliens, or Outland. I
run it using my own homebrew background and mechanics, called Star
Patrol, which is based on FUDGE. Check out http://www.io.com/~colin
for more details.

Synopsis:

Minions of the Dark have begun constructing a dimensional gate beneath
the Republic outpost on Deju. The outpost’s leader has been replaced
by the minions, who are using the Gift to create a perfect illusion of
the leader. They are proceeding to infiltrate deeper into the
outpost, replacing more key figures. And, they have begun enslaving
part of the outpost’s inhabitants, using them as slave labor to
dig/construct/whatever the secret.

The characters are travelling on the starship Fickle Fate, which is
scheduled to deliver several geolocks and some replacement personnel
to the outpost. The stopover is supposed to be a short one, and the
poor design of the landing bays, which are just next to the garbage
collection/expulsion unit, make the stop seem even longer. But, the
outpost’s only canteen, “the Pit”, is abuzz about something…

Legalese:

This document is free. Permission is given to redistribute it and/or
modify it under 2 conditions: 1. My name stays on it.
2. No profit is made from redistribution or modification.

———————————————————————-
1. The Pit – melee & social, roleplay

Characters go to the bar, as the Fickle Fate’s entertainment console
is pretty pitiful. They notice that the party in the back, which is
getting progressively louder, inebriated and angry, seems to be
talking about a at the bar.

The largest of the lot gets up, goes over to him, spins him around in
his barstool, and shouting something about “This one’s for Jorick!”,
attacks the surprised .

A fight ensues, with the attackers inebriated buddies crowding around,
cheering him on with phrases like “That’s it, Kitoog, help him find
Jorick!” and “One more for Landers!”.

The is getting his butt kicked, and unless the characters
intervene, will end up an unconscious bloody pulp on the floor. If
they do, they easily defeat the drunks, who are quickly
shipped off to lockup by the local constabulary, which show up after
a few rounds. The introduces himself as Sergeant Thargrim, buys
several rounds, and pours out the story of the disappearances. It ends
with mention of the reward for finding them, and a plea to call
him if they hear anything.


Thargrim

Str – Great (+2 @ scale -1)
Dex – Good (+1)
Int – Good (+1)
Tch – Fair (+0)
Per – Good (+1)
Psi – Fair (+0)
Tou – Great (+2)
Scale -1

Gifts: Longevity, Legal Enforcement Power: Deju Outpost.
Faults: Stubborn, Kinda Ugly, Prefer Enclosed Spaces.
Skills: Mechanicals – Poor (+0), Blaster – Great (+2), Streetwise –
Great (+2), Detect Whopper – Fair (+0), Melee – Great (+2),
Deal-making – Great (+2), Languages – Good (+1), Medical – Fair
(+0), Swimming – Fair (+0), Alien Culture – Fair (+0),
Intimidate – Fair (+0), Tailing – Mediocre (-1)
Weapons/Equipment: Blaster, Comlink, Light Armor (+2).
Notes:

Kitoog

Str – Good (+1 @ scale 2)
Dex – Good (+1)
Int – Fair (+0)
Tch – Fair (+0)
Per – Fair (+0)
Psi – Fair (+0)
Tou – Good (+1)
Scale 2

Gifts: Regal Bearing, Excellent Sense of Smell, Roar, Reputation:
Don’t Mess With Me.
Faults: Farsighted, Phobia of Water, Odious Personal Habit: Licks Fur,
Odious Personal Habit: Coughs up Hairballs, and Code of Honor:
.
Skills: Hold Liquor – Superb (+3), Melee – Great (+2), Streetwise –
Great (+2), Unarmed Melee – Great (+2), Mining – Good (+1),
Blaster – Fair (+0), Technology – Fair (+0), Mechanicals –
Fair (+0), Dodge – Fair (+0), Gambling – Fair (+0)
Weapons/Equipment: Comlink, Miner’s Mate (treat as Buzzsword).
Notes:

Eventually, Thargrim excuses himself to attend to his duties.

The bar is clearing out anyway, so the characters head back to the
ship. As they do, they run into the somewhat distant and laconic
Director of the Deju outpost, Rath Shiventire, who inquires as to
their enjoyment of their stay, and as to the whereabouts of the
Sergeant (who has just departed).

He bids the characters safe journey and leaves.

The ship’s docking bay abuts the outpost’s garbage collection and
removal depot, which lends a foul aroma to the area. As the
characters hurry past the slimy ramp, one spots a worker, dumping a
load of garbage into the removal robot ship’s container. Out of the
corner of the character’s eye, he/she could swear that there was a
_body_ hidden in the garbage.

———————————————————————-
2. Victim – non-combat, brains

The characters must stop/override/whatever the garbage robot ship so
they can inspect the contents and find out who the unfortunate victim
is. (As a goad to investigate, maybe they’re passing the garbage heap
and notice the body just as the reward notice flashes by on a nearby
databoard.) Discovering the Director’s corpse is fairly important.
The characters should have some difficulty defeating the droidship’s
security, or mechanically rigging things, or whatever, but should
succeed.

It turns out to be the body of the Director. (Impossible!!! They just
got done talking to him…)

Turn up the suspense and atmosphere.

———————————————————————-
3. Sneak a Peek – non-combat, brains, possibly blaster

After the body’s been discovered, the PC who found the body goes to security,
only to find that Thargrim has been murdered, evidently moments before
the PC arrived. The agents of the Dark, posing as security officers,
decided that Thargrim was making too much trouble, and were in the
process of replacing him, when the PC called with the news of the
discovered body. Their plan is to eliminate the PC, and they will
chase the PC through the station.

“With thoughts of Thargrim’s woeful tale and the reward flitting
through your mind, you quickly call the Sergeant up on the comlink.
You quickly relay the details of your discovery, to his amazement and
confusion. Lowering his voice, he asks you (the discoverer only) to
come to Security HQ to make a statement and elaborate. He urges you
to move quickly and to keep a low profile. In fact, maybe a quick
disguise of some sort might be in order…”

When the character arrives at Security:

“The wide blast door to Security is open, although it’s after hours.
You enter, pass through the disorganised and cramped reception
area, and spy a light coming down a darkened corridor – probably
Thargrim’s office. Starting down the corridor, you see a couple of
the Sgt’s men are sitting casually on desks, drinking synthcaf. One
looks at another person apparently sitting in the office that you
can’t see, and then motions you down the hall. You start down the
hall, and one of Thargrim’s men, a bit overweight, and greying at the
temples, stands up and hitches up his drooping shipsuit.”

(Ask the character to make a Perception check, and ignore the results,
before you read this next part. Paranoia is a good thing.)

“You pass a couple of empty cells, making out their cots and holovids
dimly as you walk by. Then you pass a closet door, and notice a dark
puddle seeping from underneath the door. It’s BLOOD! Your head snaps
up, and see the Sergeant’s man watching you. A leering grin comes to
his lips. Your heart jumps to your throat – it’s some kind of trap.
You wheel around as fast as you can, and bolt for the door.”

“A weird wet/metallic coughing noise rings behind you, just as you
turns the corner. You catch a glimpse of a slimy green/black dart
lodged in the door in front of you, just as you duck out of the
office. The acrid smell and the image of the slime melting the
cerametal door jolts you as you tear off towards the Fickle Fate,
running as fast as you can.”

“Behind you, possibly from a cell somewhere back in Security, you hear
a familiar bellow of the bruiser from the bar last night, saying ‘Wot?
Who the Hell? What the blazes is going on here?!'”

Kitoog, who was sleeping off his previous night’s binge, was a friend
of the late Thargrim. Kitoog was a regular in jail, and Thargrim
never locked his cell. So, after the security guys/Darklings go
running after the PC, he lets himself out to find out what’s going on.

“The clomping feet are getting louder and louder behind you, and this
damned outpost must have been designed while under the influence of
Spin…”

Make a few contested Running skill checks. If the heavies win a
couple, they may be able to get off a few shots. Let the character
keep a bit ahead of them, though.

Kitoog figures out what’s going on, and with his superior knowledge
of the station’s infrastructure, saves the character, sneaks him back
to the Fickle Fate. Tells the character about the accident, the
disappearance of the 3rd shift crew, etc.

On a hunch, Kitoog suggests they scout out the “accident” area.

Couple of obstacles like sneaking past wardroid guards, defeating
security systems.


Starlab’s PX-5 Defence Droid

Str – Mediocre (-1)
Dex – Good (+1)
Int – Good (+1)
Tch – Mediocre (-1)
Per – Good (+1)
Psi – Fair (+0)
Tou – Great (+2)

Gifts: Knowledge Skills@Fair, Built-in Blaster Rifle, Built-in Trooper
Armor (+4 DM), Built-in Comlink.
Faults: Must Be Repaired (Can’t Heal), Needs to be Recharged Once per
Day, Can Only Have 4 Skills.
Skills: Blaster – Superb (+3), Melee – Great (+2), Unarmed Melee –
Great (+2), Dodge – Great (+2).
Weapons/Equipment: Most PX-5’s carry a melee weapon of some kind.
Riot clubs are common.
Notes: PX-5’s are standard warrior droids. They’re pretty hobbled in
terms of skills. If a player wanted to be a PX-5, it’d be
worth 4 gifts. Given PX-5’s low Perception skill, Poor (-2),
they’ve earned a reputation as tough in battle, but easy to
sneak around.

———————————————————————-
4. Gate – blaster

By way of ventilation grate, arrive at the hellish scene of the
construction of the dimension gate. Characters overhear the faux
Director speaking into a comlink “Tell his Excellency that he may dock
at any time. My research has been an incredible success. We will
open the dimensional gate briefly to test it, before he arrives. Tell
him I look forward to presenting my results to him.” He speaks in
strange, horrible sounding language to the faux security officers.

The enslaved inhabitants of the outpost are mining, smelting, and
generally constructing the gate, which is a weird combination of
cerametal alloys, intestine-like tubes, and twitching flesh-like
panels, all pulsing to something like a heartbeat. Bioplastic never
looked like this.

The Director and his henchmen begin to open the gate – a horrible
shadow creature begins coming through. No time to go back and prepare
– the characters must stop this thing NOW!

Massive psionic/blaster/Darktech weapons battle. Lots of lurching
Dark-Enfolded outpost victims. PCs should be able to Kill off
henchmen, but the Director should escape, screaming in that weird
language into his comlink.

He’s headed towards the landing bays. PCs in hot pursuit, when the
outpost rocks as if struck by the hand of the Maker. The bruiser from
the bar hears on the comlink that some sort of starship is pummelling
the outpost, and that the Director has escaped to join it aboard a
patrol cutter. The outpost’s defences have been sabotaged by the
impostors.

Gadzooks!


Muzcuh – The “Director”

Str – Good (+1)
Dex – Good (+1)
Int – Fair (+0)
Tch – Fair (+0)
Per – Fair (+0)
Psi – Good (+1)
Tou – Fair (+0)

Powers: the Gift, Enfolded
Skills: Acting – Superb (+3), Melee – Great (+2), Unarmed Melee –
Great (+2), Blaster – Great (+2), Dodge – Fair (+0)
Psi Skills: Telepathy – Good (+1), Psychokinesis – Good (+1)
Weapons/Equipment: DarkTech Rifle (Dam: +5, OB: +1, Rng 18/75/180)
Notes: Muzcuh uses his Dark Gift to trick the minds of any who observe
him into seeing him as the Director. This illusion is flawless
to any who see him, but might be detected by someone with the
Gift. He is also an excellent impostor.

Typical Enslaved:

Str – Great (+2)
Dex – Fair (+0)
Int – Fair (+0)
Tch – Fair (+0)
Per – Fair (+0)
Psi – Fair (+0)
Tou – Fair (+0)

Skills: None. (All at -2)
Weapons/Equipment: Varies. Usually the Enslaved armies carry simple
weapons, like clubs and axes.

Typical Darkling:

Str – Great (+2)
Dex – Good (+1)
Int – Fair (+0)
Tch – Fair (+0)
Per – Fair (+0)
Psi – Fair (+0)
Tou – Great (+2)

Skills: Melee – Great (+2), Unarmed Melee – Great (+2), Blaster –
Great (+2), Dodge – Fair (+0), Sneak – Fair (+0), Perception –
Fair (+0), some probably have starship skills
Weapons/Equipment: Varies. Most carry a DarkTech Rifle (Dam: +5, OB:
+1, Rng 18/75/180) , and wear some sort of armor
(treat as Light Armor – +2)

———————————————————————-
5. Save the Base – ship

The Fickle Fate is the outpost’s only hope. They have to stop the
Darkship from destroying the outpost.

The Darkship beginning to open up a landing bay for the Director’s
cutter when the Fickle Fate starts blasting it. The Darkship puts up
shields and closes the bay, stranding the cutter, and turns some of
its guns from the outpost to the Fickle Fate. Characters must disable
the guns before the outpost is just an ionized crater. The Darkship
only sustains a few hits before fleeing, leaving the cutter behind.
Characters can destroy it, try to board, etc.

Director won’t let himself be taken alive.


DarkShip

Warp Speed : Good (+1)
Speed : Good (+1)
Manoeuvre : Good (+1)
Shields : Fair (+0)
Hull : Good (+1)
Crew : ??
Passengers : ??
Cargo : ??
Consumables : ??
Computer : ??
E. Hyperdrives : unknown
Ship’s Guns : DarkTech Disruptor Cannon (FP: +3, OB: -1), 2
: DarkTech Laser Cannon (FP: +1, OB: -1)
Cost : ??

Universal Dynamics 88-V Patrol Corvette

Warp Speed : Fair (+0)
Speed : Mediocre (-1)
Manoeuvre : Fair (+0)
Shields : Fair (+0)
Hull : Good (+1)
Crew : 3
Passengers : 10
Cargo : 75 tons
Consumables : 6 weeks
Computer : Starship Pilot – Mediocre (-1), Astrogation – Poor
: (-2)
E. Hyperdrives : yes
Ship’s Guns : 2 turreted Ranger Weapon Systems Pulse Cannon (FP:
: +1, OB: +0)
Cost : 200,000 Cr. (50,000 or so, used)
Notes : Atmosphere capable

Fickle Fate
(modified Universal Dynamics TF-78a Freighter)

Warp Speed : Fair (+0)
Speed : Fair (+0)
Manoeuvre : Good (+1)
Shields : Fair (+0)
Hull : Good (+1)
Crew : 3
Passengers : 8
Cargo : 80 tons
Consumables : 6 weeks
Computer : Starship Pilot – Mediocre (-1), Astrogation – Poor
: (-2)
E. Hyperdrives : yes
Ship’s Guns : turreted Ranger Weapon Systems Pulse Cannon (FP: +1,
: OB: +0), 2 turreted Laser Cannon (FP: +0, OB: +0)
Cost : not for sale
Notes : Atmosphere capable

All the pretty ladies…
Tuomas Koivu
tuokoivu@sara.utu.fi

18-JAN-1996 14:26:37.11
Any
Medium
Affliction
Fantasy
Dragon This plot is intended to be the backbone of a long campaign lasting
perhaps years and requires a lot of continuity. If your players are
the type that gets their characters killed fast and often, then
this one is not for you.

Requirements: At least one high-level fighter, paladin or bard
who always acts like a hero and does heroic deeds (called the
hero later on). The party should use some specific Inn or hotel
as their base between adventures.

During their first or second visit in the Inn the party meets
a lovely, black-haired, tanned young lady who belly-dances
for the audience. The girl should be exceptionally beautiful
and charming, so that the characters are bound to notice her.

After the show the girl dresses up and comes to sit by the
same table with the player characters. She introduces herself
as Alanil (use whatever name you like) and tells that she is
with another adventuring party. It should become apparent that
she is somehow interested in the heroic character (choose a
handsome PC that can’t resist women), but when the hero tries
to make his move, the girl says that she is already involved
with someone else. This someone is Stompur (again, change the
names if you wish), another great hero known for his big muscles
and bad temper. Make it clear that Stompur is someone you
wouldn’t want to make angry.

Every time the party visits the Inn the hero meets Alanil and
gets a chance to spend some time and talk with her. Slowly the
hero gets the impression that Alanil cares for him and the feeling
should be mutual. At the same time between Stompur and the hero
develop a hatred for each other. Anyway, nothing more serious ever
gets to happen. Stompur is out for an adventure most of the time
and his reputation grows steadily – so does the hero’s reputation.

After a year or so Alanil tells the hero that she senses
something bad, but does not know exactly what it is.
Soon after this the party will meet another gorgeous young
woman, Shenadal, who wants to join them. Shenadal is as beautiful
as Alanil, but blonde. Little by little the players should learn
that there is something very similar about these two women, but
they can’t figure out what. Shenadal also likes to spend a lot
of time close to the hero. The two ladies never meet.

Time passes and Shenadal adventures with the party. The heroes’
reputation keeps on growing. One day the two parties (the
players and Alanil’s party) meet accidentally. Something very
strange happens, the girls begin to change their shape…

Both Alanil and Shenadal are powerful ancient dragons who have
polymorphed themselves into young pretty girls, so that they
can easily get close to heroic fighters. The dragons have had
a competition going on for centuries: the one that eats more
and greater heroes in 500 years wins!

This plot gives you a chance to surprise you players in a way
they’ve never experienced. Someone they’ve known for a long
time wants to eat them up! They will have to fight side by side
together with Stompur, whom they hate, against the dragons,
whom they have learned to like or even love.

Have fun.

An Ogre by Any other Name
Wayne J. Rasmussen
wjr@netcom.com

1-FEB-1996 20:12:23.98
Long
Fantasy
Magic
Urban
Village
Wilderness
Forest
Startup
Quest Scenario Requirements: This scenario has been designed for a single first
level cleric’s first adventure. It can also be used to help build a group
of adventurers.

Scenario Description: A local knight and a score of men have been dispatched
to stop an “ogre” which has been harassing a nearby village. The newly
graduated PC cleric has been ordered to assist the high priest who owns/runs
the church in the village. Shortly after arriving at the church, the high
priest puts the newbie cleric in charge as he leaves on an urgent mission.
Thus putting the cleric on the spot.

Places in this Scenario:

Town: Mid-sized town where the PC has learned his trade. The knight and his
men in this adventure are from this town.

Village: This village is getting harassed by an “ogre”.

Forest: It would take four or more days to walk across this mid-sized
slightly hilly forest. The forest is home to the druid Banoust and many
woodland creatures. Several unusual events have occurred here recently.
A boy from the village discovered a cave which is actually the ruins of
tribesmen who lived here long ago. An ogre, ogre mage actually, arrived and
has been causing the local village problems by killing and eating horses, cows,
and stealing valuables. Yesterday, an evil mage,Yagok Iztzwini, entered the
Ruins and soon died from a curse which came over him.

Burial Cave: This is where the body of the dead wizard Yagok Iztzwini is
buried and where the reincarnation spell was performed.

Church: The church of the high priest Thalpas is located in the Village.
Small attendance during services. Beneath the main floor of the church are
several rooms: master bedroom, guest bedroom, store room, and
secret room which contains the Staff of Life and Soul Returning.

Tribesman’s Ruins: Many centuries ago, tribesmen lived in this region of the
continent. After years of war, they were defeated or chased out of the area.
This place was once sacred to them and its secret location was known
only to a few select individuals.

NPCs in this Scenario:

Banoust – Druid: Powerful member of this class. The druid has figured out
what happened to the mage/ogre-mage and has prepared a scroll containing
the location of the mage’s body, where the ogre-mage’s cave is, and what he
thinks happened to the mage and ogre mage (he is correct). The druid gives
the scroll to a woodland creature and sends it on its way to warn the
knight of what might happen.

Ogre: Unknown to any PC or NPC (except Banoust) in this adventure, the ogre
is a magic-using ogre (Read Japanese Ogre or ogre mage) who has sort of
been possessed by an evil mage. The possession occurred in the last 24
hours. A dying mage forced the druid Banoust reincarnate the mage. Something
went wrong with the reincarnation and now the ogre mage has two souls.
The ogre can use both the powers of the mage and the ogre mage. The
knight Teramore Lightman expected a normal ogre not an ogre mage or an ogre
mage possessed by an evil mage. The ogre mage is using hit and run tactics
on the knights, which means he casts one offensive spell then disappears.

Squire: This newbie fighter is the Squire of the Knight called Teramoor
Lightman. If the GM is trying to bring together a group of new adventurers,
have a fighter play the squire in this adventure.

Teramore Lightman – Knight: The knight is very experienced and has killed a
few trolls in his day. He is both strong and stout. The people of the land
believe that this should be a very easy mission for the knight. They are
wrong!

Thalpas – The High Priest: A middle aged human who has spent many a year
adventuring and has retired to a little church he built in this village.
The local population respect him, but, they love the local druid. The
attendance at the church isn’t as high as he would like it to be. He sees
the problem with the ogre as a chance to win a few of the locals over to
his church.

Thalpas gets along well with the higher members of the church because he
usually stays out of the intrigue of the upper circles of power. They mostly
leave him alone and he rarely attends any of the annual church functions to
which he is invited.

Yagok Iztzwini – Evil Mage: A moderately powerful mage with slightly evil
side He is very intelligent, impatient, and known for his ability to size up
a person with just a slight glance. Recently he purchased a scroll from a
farmer in the village who claimed his son found it in a cave in the forest.
The scroll was a minor magic but Yagok paid the farmer for directions to the
cave. Yagok discovered that the cave was the ruins of the type associated
with tribesmen who lived in the area several centuries ago. Upon entering,
he was hit by a horrible curse. Yagok managed to get out of the cave and
soon came across Banoust who was picking berries for lunch. Yagok used a
spell to force Banoust to bury his body and reincarnate him. Banoust buried
the body in a cave (different from the tribesmen ruins) and performed the
reincarnation. Something went wrong with the reincarnation and Yagok’s soul
went into the body of a nearby Ogre Mage. Yagok blames the villagers for his
death.

New Items in this Scenario:

Staff of Life and Soul Returning: Touching this item to ANY dead body or
even the smallest piece of a body, will cause the body to instantly return
to a 100% functional state and the soul will return from wherever it might
be to the body. The soul must still exist on some plane of existence. It
is like an unlimited resurrection or golden drops of heavenly essence. If
the soul is contained in some other place or item, it will still return.

The Plot:

GMs Notes/Setup: An ogre has been bothering farmers by killing livestock
and destroying property. He lives in the wooded hills near a village about
a day and a half from this town. A local knight and a score of men have
been dispatched to remove the ogre. The knight is very experienced and
has killed a few trolls in his day. The people of the land believe this
should be a very easy mission for the knight.

Since the church doesn’t want clerics (especially newbies!) just hanging
around the church, they have decided to send a recent graduate out to
assist the high priest Thalpas. Thalpas owns/runs the church in the
village near the ogre. They don’t think the knight will have much trouble
with the ogre but figure it can’t hurt to send someone to assist the
high priest should any serious injuries happen. The cleric will not
travel with the knight and his men and will have to travel on his own.
GMs may want to role-play the journey out or just let the cleric arrive
at the church.

Arriving at the Church: Arriving at the church, the high priest Thalpas
immediately puts the cleric to work cleaning the very dusty church. The
high priest is very much a loner and lives alone in the church. In fact,
the High priest doesn’t have any other clerics around.

The knights will find the ogre but will get into real trouble. Unknown
to them, the ogre is a magic-using ogre (Read Japanese Ogre or ogre mage)
who has sort of been possessed by an evil mage. The possession occurred
in the last 24 hours. A dying mage forced a druidical type priest to
reincarnate the mage. Something went wrong with the reincarnation and
now the ogre has two souls inside itself. The ogre can use both the powers
of the mage and the ogre mage. The knight expected a normal ogre not an
ogre mage or an ogre mage possessed by an evil mage.

The druid Banoust has figured out what happened to the mage/ogre-mage and
has prepared a scroll containing the location of the mage’s body, where
the ogre-mage’s cave is, and what he thinks happened to the mage and ogre
mage (he is correct). The druid gives the scroll to a woodlands creature
and sends it on it’s way to warn the knight of what might happen. The
warning arrives too late.

After the fight with the ogre, A great owl flies over Teramore and drops
Banoust’s warning scroll. The knight reads the scroll then orders the
squire to take the scroll to the church in the village and give it to the
priest in charge. The squire is also told to tell the cleric about the
many wounded men. To make sure the squire gets to the church, Teramore
orders the squire to take a long route back instead of a direct path, where
the ogre-mage may be waiting to ambush him.

Needless to say, the knight runs into trouble with the “ogre” and beats a
hasty retreat back to the village. The newbie cleric has been put in charge
of the church and will have to handle the knight, his men, the villagers,
the druid, Banoust, and the “Ogre”.

The Adventure:

Introduction: Having just “graduated” from school, you were selected by
a high ranking member of the church to go on a mission of small importance.
You are ordered to travel to a small shrine not more than a day or two
journey from this town and assist the high priest as he sees fit. Knowing
your adventurous side, you are told that it is a simple mission and not a
major quest or adventure. A knight has been sent with a score of men to
rid a forest of an ogre which has been pestering local farmers. You are
being sent to help the high priest on the slight chance there will be some
wounded men.

The Journey: The GM may role-play this or just let the cleric arrive
at the church.

Arriving at the Church: When the cleric arrives, he doesn’t act surprised
that he is here. He will show the newbie priest where the broom and mop
are so he can begin cleaning. The church hasn’t been cleaned in many months!
The priest will constantly check the PCs work and be very picky about how
he does the job. He will be watching how the newbie reacts to the treatment.
He doesn’t like yes-men. If the character just puts up with the treatment,
dinner will be bread and a very tasty soup. If he shows some character,
the priest will say he is glad to see him stand up for himself and break
out the good stuff for dinner such as a fine ham, cheese, wine, fruit, etc.

The Tour: Before going to bed, the priest will give a tour of the entire
church. There are several rooms below the church which serve as private
quarters, guest quarters, storage (loaded with many fine foods and wine),
and a hidden chamber. Within the hidden chamber is a holy relic found
during the Thalpas’s adventuring days. He will tell the newbie about the
holy relic (Staff of Life and Soul Returning). He will say “Touching the
staff to any dead body will fully restore life and limb and return its
soul no matter where it might be”. A small room with a straw bed will be
made available for the newbie.

Squire’s Arrival?: NOTE: This may not occur here! If the squire fails to
follow the orders of his knight and proceeds in a direct line to the
village, he will arrive safely. He will give the scroll to the high priest
and tell him of the battle with the ogre-like creature. Thalpas asks the
PC to cure any wounds the squire has and to give him something to eat.
Thalpas will then study the scroll in private and not share the information
with the PC. NOTE: The squire arrived somewhere around midnight.

Thalpas’s Departure: The cleric wakes up in the morning to find Thalpas gone
and a note left for him/her. The note says that PC cleric in charge of the
church and tells him that he will be back in a few days. His reason for
leaving will depend on whether the squire arrived last night. If so, he
claims to be going to the church council for advice. If the squire didn’t
arrive, he claims that he has a strong feeling that he will need the
assistance from a few of his old adventuring buddies.

Later That Day: A few of the villagers will come and go asking questions,
where is Thalpas, where is the knight, why is the squire here by himself,
etc. The villagers seem worried. If the cleric reassures the villagers, he
gets 1 good point. If he makes it worse by saying something stupid, he gets
1 bad point.

The Next Day: The knight Teramore Lightman arrives with his wounded men. He
seems mad and a little frustrated. He asks where Thalpas is and who is in
charge. When he hears that the PC is in charge of the church, he acts very
respectful of the PC and even seeks his wisdom on the situation in front
of his men. Specifically, he want to know if they should go out and try to
attack this creature again. At this point, several of his men cry out in
favour of attacking and getting revenge. If not, what should they do, just
sit and wait? If the clerics god is against revenge and the cleric speaks
against revenge he gets one good point. He gets one bad point if he doesn’t
try to quell any talk of revenge. If the God endorses revenge, reverse the
scoring. If the cleric advises caution and posting of guards and patrols in
the village, he get one good point. If he doesn’t offer advice or just tells
them to do no action he gets one bad point. If he suggests and all out attack
against the ogre, you can expect the men to get wiped out (3 bad points).
NOTE: Teramore will answer any questions the cleric asks to the best of
his ability.

That Night: During the night, the ogre attacks the village. If guards or
patrols were placed by the cleric, one of the guardsmen will be killed and
the ogre will appear to have been driven off by the other guardsmen. If no
guards or patrols were established, one house will be attacked and two
villagers (man & his son) will have died in the attack. The ogre appears to
have hit and run. The villagers will be shaken up by this situation and the
cleric must show no fear to inspire the people. Even the knight appears to
be shaken and will respond according to the clerics actions. He will be
brave it the cleric is and not so brave if the cleric isn’t. If a guardsman
dies, Teramore will say to the cleric “It could have been worse, some of the
villagers could have died. You were wise to suggest a patrol.” If the
guardsman dies, give the cleric 1 good point, if two villagers die, he gets
2 bad points.

The Next Day – Squire’s Arrival?: NOTE: This may not occur here! If the
squire didn’t arrive earlier, he will arrive now. Teramore will be upset
with the squire and he may not be his squire after this mission is over.
The squire does give the scroll to the cleric. If the cleric interferes
with the knight-squire relationship, the knight will listen to his advice
but will act according to his own sense of honour.

Later that Day: Banoust the druid arrives in town. If the cleric has not
been reassuring and/or not acted bravely, they will flock to the druid
leaving him along. If he has been brave and/or reassuring, only a few of
the villagers will rush to Banoust. Banoust will talk to a few of the
villagers then head toward the church. He will relate the tale of the wizard
Yagok and the reincarnation. He will also mention that he was attacked this
morning and the spellbooks he took from Yagok had been stolen. He fears that
the Ogre will be able to get his full range of spells now.

Reaction to Banoust: The villager will be watching Banoust and the cleric to
see signs of strength and weakness. Banoust will make rather loud statements
in public regarding Thalpas’s leaving the village in a time of crisis. The
cleric needs to counter these statements. Whoever wins this verbal fencing
will wins the heart and soul of the villagers. If the cleric wins, give him
2 good points and 2 bad points if he fails.

Solution to the Adventure #1: The Staff of Life and Soul Returning can be
used to bring the life and soul of the wizard Yagok Iztzwini back to his
body. If the cleric figures this out, and mentions this to the knight and
the druid, a plan may be created by the three of them. The druid will help
get the cleric to the dead wizards body. The knight and the squire will
volunteer to go with in case of trouble. The knight may even suggest using
himself and his guardsmen to draw the ogre’s attention while the cleric,
druid and squire bring the wizard back to life. There will be no problems
in either capturing the mage or killing him after the staff is used. The
now weaker ogre mage will be easily killed by Teramore and his men. The
cleric earns 6 good points.

Solution to the Adventure #2: The next day, Thalpas returns with his old
adventuring buddies. They kill the ogre mage without too much trouble.

Other Solutions: Characters always manage to come up with unexpected plans.
So award 6 points for removing the ogre mage/mage problem. Award 1 bad point
for each villager who dies, and 1 bad point for every two guards men who die.
If the squire dies, add 1 bad point, and add 3 bad points if the knight dies.

Since this is an opportunity for roleplaying. The GM may add other encounters
to the adventure such as settling disputes between villagers, husbands &
their wives, parents and children.

Closing Notes:

If the cleric ended with more good points than bad points, he should be
rewarded in some way.
Here are some possibilities. 1) Thalpas gives the cleric a well trained war horse.
2) Thalpas gives the cleric a map. The map “claims” to lead the cleric
to where a magic tome to increase one’s wisdom is hidden.
3) Newbie cleric is recognized by church leaders as an up and coming cleric.
Perhaps you are too challenging to have around? They send you on another
mission.
4) If the newbie cleric has earned sufficient experience to advance a level.
His/her training is arranged for by the church at no cost to the cleric.
5) The church grants the cleric special dispensation in a special ceremony.
Whenever the cleric cast a “Cure wounds” spell, add +1 to all dice rolled.
6) The church grants the cleric special dispensation in a special ceremony.
The cleric is granted an extra first level spell per day.
If the cleric ended with more bad points than good points, he should be
punished in some way. Here are some possibilities. 1) Thalpas orders the cleric to a vow of silence and meditation in his temple
for the next week.
2) If the holy relic is some how lost, he will be quested to recover it.
3) The cleric has to tithe half of his money for the next 12 months.
4) In a special ceremony, the cleric loses the ability to cast bonus spells.
This ability will return when “God” feels the cleric has earned it or the
need is great. NOTE: not the cleric’s need!

Getting a group together. The purpose of this adventure was to give an
individual character an adventure for himself with the further goal of
building an adventuring group. Here is how you could start a group from here
by adding other characters. I would suggest exploring the “tribesman ruins” as
a good starting place for further adventuring. 1) The squire could be another adventurer who could join the cleric.
2) One of the knight’s men decides to leave the knights service.
3) Banoust could introduce the cleric to an elf or druidical character.
4) After the ogre, a hunter from the village decides he likes adventure.
5) One of Thalpas’s adventuring buddies has an apprentice….

Dish du Jour: Magic!
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Fantasy
Quest
Any A wizard accidentally opens a gate to a plane of magic-eating creatures, and
the PCs are hired to close it, possibly involving a long and difficult
process or series of quests.

Evils’ Puppet
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Fantasy
Investigation
Any A civil war erupts in a supposedly peaceful realm. A dabbling noble has
run across an ancient evil that is now running him like a puppet. After
raising an army of humanoids and worse, the PCs are sent to investigate.

Growing evil
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Fantasy
Quest
Any A different party of adventurers destroyed a horrible evil years ago, or at
least thought they did. It has managed to return again much weaker, but is
gaining power quickly.

Troublesome Artefact
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Fantasy
Quest
Magic
Any An evil artefact has escaped its imprisonment and is causing problems
again, and must be recovered and re-imprisoned or destroyed while it still
can.

Dwarven treasures?
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Fantasy
Quest
Magic
Any Dwarves have found an ancient wealth… and an ancient evil as well.
Blinded by their new treasures, they don’t realize they are becoming
servants. Rescuers are needed before it is too late.

Missing Person File
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Any
Quest
Any PCs are sent to search for the one man who can help with a problem.

Spot the artefact
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Fantasy
Quest
Any A mage once invented a powerful item that is now needed badly. The PCs are
hired to track it down and retrieve it.

All in days work…
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Fantasy
Quest
Any An army descends on a nation at nearly the same time the court magician
grabs power. The PCs must rescue the heir, dispose of the wizard, and then
defeat the invading army.

Beat the wicked wizard
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Fantasy
Affliction
Any A wizard forces PCs to retrieve a magical item that he cannot get to.
However, he doesn’t realize that this item will break his control over
them. Once free, the PCs must work to stop his evil schemes.

Fetch back that item
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Fantasy
Magic
Quest
Any The bad guys have discovered a powerful magic item, and the PCs are sent to
recover it. Unfortunately they find that it has already been appropriated
by the other bad guys.

Secure that lock on Hell
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Fantasy
Quest
Any Forces of evil are searching to release an ancient evil power. The PCs must
beat them to the locations of the hidden keys and/or recover the hidden keys
already found.

Undisturbed title?
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Fantasy
Affliction
Any PCs are made nobility, but with the catch that they must first clear the
land they have been granted.

Out, out cursed spot..
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Fantasy
Horror
Affliction
Quest
Any A magical curse that affects only certain good guys appears, and the PCs
must find the source and stop it before the balance is upset.

Assassins at Pumpkin time
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Any
Intrigue
Guarding
Building At a costume party there is an assassin, and the party must find him/her
before the baron arrives at midnight.

Prophesy
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Fantasy
Quest
Any The PCs are the possible fulfilment of an ancient prophesy.
However, there are many who do not wish this prophesy to come true.

You call this shelter?
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Fantasy
Affliction
Building The PCs are being chased through the wilderness when they come upon an old
wizard’s tower. Their only chance at escape is to enter the tower and try
to survive it.

Goblin war
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Fantasy
Investigation
Any
Goblins Something is massing the humanoids for an attack. The PCs are sent as
either spies to find out what, or to try to stop this opponent before
another goblin war occurs.

My god is more omnipotent then your god…
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Any
Quest
Intrigue
Any A third religion is trying to start a religious war between two others. The
PCs are the only ones in the position to recover stolen property and
practice diplomacy to prevent this.

Strike force
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Any
Quest
Startup
Any The PCs are requested for an army’s special strike team.

Time after time
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Fantasy
Quest
Any An evil archmage has fled through time to escape punishment, and the PCs
must track him down for justice.

Crime war
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Any
Intrigue
Urban A huge underworld crime war is brewing, and the PCs cannot help but choose
sides when they see the damage being done.

Hot property
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Any
Affliction
Any PCs are captured by the bad guys, but manage to escape. In their escape,
they picked up something very important to the bad guys, who will stop at
nothing to recover it.

Succession
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Fantasy
Intrigue
Any The king has passed on with no clear successor, and factions strive to fill
the throne with friends. Meanwhile, outside forces threaten, and it is up
to the PCs to fix things up.

Waking dragons
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Fantasy
Quest
Magic
Any
Dragon The ancient dragon has once again stirred, and it falls to the PCs
to lay it to rest for once and for all. They are sent on a quest for a
mighty artefact to destroy the beast, and then must use it on the dragon.

Extraplanar master
Benjamin Jud Quinton
quinton@ih-nxt04.cso.uiuc.edu

One-line
Fantasy
Quest
Any An extraplanar being needs help on this plane, and since he cannot manifest,
he sends the PCs to do the job.

The Tarathan
Alexander T. Knapp
100431.464@compuserve.com

Long
Fantasy
Quest
Any
******************* CAMPAIGN LINES AND RESPONSIBILITIES *****************
* *
* This campaign, designed and played over the course of five years, *
* was designed for the concurrent adventuring of four different groups *
* of Player Characters. The plot lines of campaign, five major and *
* five minor, are interwoven as much as possible, but could be run *
* individually. The majority of this material is original, questions *
* and comments will be welcomed by the author. *
* *
* Any use of copyrighted material, explicit or implicit, does not *
* constitute a challenge to the ownership of that copyright. The *
* author/owner of this document otherwise retains the rights to all *
* to all material contained herein. Permission is granted for non- *
* profit reproduction and/or distribution so long as this notice is *
* retained in its entirety. *
* *
* Welcome to The Tarathan! *
* *
*************************************************************************

This file is set up in the following format:

I. Welcome message, copyright disclaimer and introduction to the
format.

II. Description of the four player groups.

This campaign was designed for, and in my experience was certainly large
enough to have four different groups of player characters adventuring
at the same time. We did this in order to add a little more variety
to the game and to allow for players to experiment with different
characters. A breakdown of which group(s) were responsible for each
plot line is included after each title (see below).

III. Background explanation of names and terms

In the interests of respecting other people’s hard work and copyrights,
some geographical and cultural names have been changed. Also, as the
majority of this material is original, I include a short
description of some of the terms that are used in this document.

IV. Plot Lines and Explanations

The ten plot lines of this campaign are divided into five major
and five minor collections of adventures, which (as much as
possible) have ties among and through each other. The unifying
reference or force behind the campaign is “The Song of Solastin
Ash”, a 6000+ year old prophesy of the greatest elven Spellsinger
(annotated and appended to this document.) I used the “Song”
primarily as foreshadowing and adventure hooks/references in the
campaign, leading characters along from one stanza to the next.

Each plot line has been written in the following format (NOTE –
Numbers in [brackets] refer specifically to the “Song” located in
Part V): – Title [Lines of Primary Reference in the “Song”] Name of
Responsible Character Group

i.e **Arcanum [7-14, 25-32] Group I (Main Characters)

– Historical Reference: Background to the plot

– Campaign Goals and Challenges: The general goal that the PC’s
should achieve in this particular plot line, plus three to five
specific challenges or obstacles.

– Specific References: Additional references in other stanzas
of the “Song” and explanation.

i.e. [11-12] As the magical drain becomes more drastic, the
Runic Heiarch of Lagur (Water) increasingly uses her powers to
try and contain the damage.

V. The Song of Solastin Ash

The “Song”, here in its entirety, has been annotated for easy
reference to each plot description. Individual lines or stanzas will
be referenced in [brackets].

The “Song” follow a specific pattern (with refrain after each set of
stanzas):

Refrain
Major Plot Line
Minor Plot Line
Legend or Call of Heroes

Refrain

“Legend” is an account of some piece of ancient Tarathan history and
“Call of Heroes” is a foreshadowing of many of the NPC’s to be found
in the campaign.

++++++ GROUP DESCRIPTIONS +++++++

Group I – The main characters who start at a lowly level, however are
advanced rather fast through `parallel adventures’ setting up background
for secondary Groups (II-IV). Although they are ultimately the deciding
force, they play a minor role until Parts Three and Four of the Campaign. 1. Wizard/Sorcerer Student of the Arcanum, future Runist
2. Cleric/Priest Psionic Potential
3. Thief/Rogue “Darkfang” and “Keldarion”
4. Fighter/Warrior Ties to the Northern Reaches/Selidon Keep
5. Other(s) (GM’s Discretion)
Group II – “The Bonded and Fettered, Yet Free to Be Doomed”, a collection
of medium/high level characters with one extraordinary ability
score and a common legacy, the `Golden Shackles’ on their
wrists. Predestined to release the Riders, die in the course of their
trials, return as Servitors and restore Power to The Tarathan.

Group III – This Group of high level characters is based in a
medium-sized castle, part of the Protectorate of Selidon in the Northern
Reaches. Their role is primarily to explore the adventure possibilities
of the `landed’ nobility and provide a show of force within the Campaign
when necessary.

Group IV – This Group is actually made up of a wide range of characters
of varying levels who serve as playtesters for various character classes
and races.

++++++ EXPLANATION OF NAMES AND TERMS ++++++

—> NAMES of Geographical Locations (in order of appearance in the
Plot Lines)

Amaranth – a country ruled largely by wizards, also the name of the
capitol city. Extremely unfriendly toward clerics/priests. Political
tensions with the Windlands.

The Tarathan (The Jewel) – the name of the campaign world, also the
name of the collection of planes upon which the Twenty Immortals
reside

Windlands – a broad expanse of wind-swept plains east of Amaranth.
Home to a wide variety of nomadic tribes. Political tensions with
Amaranth.

Northern Reaches – largely untamed wilderness north of the “Southern
Kingdoms”

Underworld – the network of tunnels, chambers and caverns below the
surface of The Tarathan.

Develin – a prosperous country south of Amaranth. Ruled by a
consortium of Merchant-Princes.

The Heights – the forest-state of the Elves

Warren – a particularly excavated and populated area of the Underworld
directly below Develin and The Heights. Supported by four massive
cornerstones.

Sand Lords – the nomadic rulers of the desert on the eastern coast of
the continent. Particularly unfriendly toward wizards.

Selidon Valley/Protectorate – The main center of population in the
Northern Reaches.

Cloud Mountain – a singular, massive mountain in the center of the
Windlands. Site of pilgramage and prophesy for the nomadic tribes.

Adatia – a county beyond the eastern sea, populated and ruled by
wizards. Unofficial patron of Amaranth.

—> NAMES of Gaming Terms (in order of appearance in the Plot Lines)

Power – all magical effects, including arcane (Wizards), holy
(Clerics/Priests), and those produced by items and artifacts.
Excludes Psionics and Rune Magic.

Rune Magic (Runic Heiarch) – Old Earth Magic, captured and controlled
by runic inscription. A secret society lead by five Heiarchs
(representing four elements plus Spirit/Balance.)

Heart of the Tarathan – a large ruby, the primary collector of Power
on The Tarathan.

Chamber of the Spheres – a massive Dark elven magical construction
designed to restore Power to The Tarathan bypassing the Arcanum.

Sol – the authority over the Tewnty Immortals.

Protocols – the edicts of Sol passed down at the Reckoning. The
First Protocol states that “no Immortal shall walk the face of The
Tarathan.”

Erdefount – the first source of water in the Underworld.

Stone-Father’s Tome – Agathon, Patron Immortal of the Underworld,
wrote this history of the his ‘children’, who eventually broke among
themselves and became the different races of the Underworld.

Celarion – the secret political organization of Shadogodon, Patron
Immortal of Strife. Led by the “Rose” (highest political title.)

Orbs of Cymid Dar – three silver orbs, an artifact of great power.
Cursed to drive the user slowly insane.

++++++ PLOT LINES +++++++

-=-=-=-=-= GREATER LINES =-=-=-=-=-=-

**Arcanum [7-14, 25-32] Group I (Main Characters)

Historical Reference – The Arcanum, the magically active remains of a
star summoned in battle by the Nameless One (a pre-Reckoning Sorcerer-
King), rests thousands of feet below the city of Amaranth. The impact
of this comet killed the Nameless One’s rival, Hanel, and shifted the
planet, plunging it into a global cataclysm. Millenia later, in the
current era, the emanations given off by this star, deep in the earth,
act as a magic- enhancing `aura’ in and around the country of Amaranth.
This aura, however, consumes a significant deal more Power than it
creates and is slowly draining Magic from The Tarathan.

Campaign Goal and Challenges – The PC’s must identify the Arcanum and
its nature, locate and find a way to stop it or its effects. – I. One of their members is a member of the Brotherhood of the Arcanum,
the ruling (albeit secret) political power in Amaranth.
– II. All other members of the Brotherhood will stop at nothing to
prevent the destruction of their `free’ source of Power.
– III. The ongoing war with the Windlands requires more and more magical
investment, draining The Tarathan’s Power even faster.
– IV. The extremely inaccessable location and unfathomable power of the
Arcanum itself makes it extremely difficult for mortals to reach it and
impossible to touch or affect it in any way.
Specific References –
[11-12] As the magical drain becomes more drastic, the Runic Heiarch of
Lagur (Water) increasingly uses her powers to try and contain the
damage.
[13-14] Agathon, preoccupied for several thousand years with his search
for the Heart of The Tarathan, will return after its discovery (see
“Tokens”) and transform the surviving Dark Elves into his new Chosen,
banishing the Illithid.
[22-23, 72-73, 76-77, 99, 103-104] Finsternis (c.f.), trapped in his
rise to Immortality in a nether-plane and neither mortal or immortal, is
the only person capable of completing the magical `circuit’ – the Heart
of the Tarathan – in the Dark elves’ (c.f.) “Chamber of the Spheres”,
however, the act, while restoring Power to The Tarathan, would also
fully elevate him to the Twenty.
[9, 50] The Dragon of Ash, a work of ritual magic, using the Arcanum
against the the Windland’s horde, and the death of Prayle (c.f.) in the
Northern Reaches both signal the final vestiges of Power on The Tarathan.

**Riders [34-41, 116-123] Group II (Bonded)

Historical Reference – Before the Reckoning, The Tarathan was divided
only between Light and Dark, the two `Bastions’ of the Age.
Approximately six thousand years before the current campaign takes
place, the Vangaurd of the Bastion of the Light, led by the Psionicist-
Mage Kry the Just and his four knights, faced the Thirteen Riders of the
Vanguard of the Dark. The battle raged on the edge of a chasm in the
center of Trynnia, Kry’s kindom. The Riders were eventually banished
and bound, but the knights were killed and Kry was lost as the edge of
the chasm gave way beneath him. It was at that point that Sol called
the twenty surviving Immortals to the Jewel, issued the Protocols and
the new Age was begun.

Campaign Goal and Challenges – The PC’s, having released the Riders,
must find out their weaknesses, track them down and destroy them. – I. The only effective way to combat the Riders’ auras is to possess one
of the Treasures of Old, the weapons of Kry and his knights.
– II. The Patron Immortals of Strife, Domination and Death each have a
vested interest in the freedom of the Riders, and the advantage that can
be gained by the chaos that the Thirteen create.
– III. Kry’s tomb has been used as the foundation for the Seers’ Obelisk
(c.f.), drawing on the psionic energies which are still associated with
his spirit.
Specific References –
[18-19] Finsternis (c.f.) corrupts one of the original members of Group
I, who later bears his child, the future the leader of the Celarion and
the bearer of the First Treasure of Old.
[36] In the early years of the final battle, Kry’s knights numbered
eight, however as the Riders became more powerful, four of the knights
joined with the weapons of their `brothers’ to better protect them.
[75] The Dark Elven kingdom falls prey to a plague unleashed by
Scourge, which slowly decimates the populace and threatend the
completion of the Chamber.
[118-119] These three points outline the former borders of Trynnia, at
their center lies the valley of the Obelisk and the tomb of Kry the
Just.

**Flood [61-68] Group IV (Experimental)

Historical Reference – The “Master”, a heretofore mythical monster of
the Underworld, with the help of Agathon’s Chosen, has begun a slow
process of weakening the `Cornerstones’ – four massive, natural pillars
which support the kingdoms of Develin and the Heights above the `Warren’, a
giant region of the Underworld. If the pillars are completely destroyed,
the entire region will sink, flooding it entirely and killing millions.
Unfortunately, the plot isn’t discovered until two of the pillars are
destroyed, necessitating a replacement of the underground supports.

Campaign Goal and Challenges – Find four saplings in Agathon’s `Granite
Forsest’ to replace the lost pillars while preventing the Master from
collapsing the remaining two. – I. In order for the saplings to grow outside of their natural habitat,
they must be planted in soil from `the Deep’ and watered with from the
Erdefount itself.
– II. The followers of Agathon, faced with the Illithid conspiracy to
collapse of the Warren, have begun a rebellion against the Chosen.
– III. The Dark elves, in a move to hide their plague-induced weakness,
and protect the Chamber of the Spheres, close their borders and
ruthlessly kill any trespassers.
Specific References –
[44] An accurate copy of the “Stone-Father’s Tome” lies in the archives
of Casteln Mists, detailing the true history of the races of the
Underworld, which would further incite and ultimately justify the
revolution against the Illithid.
[13, 16, 31, 43, 72] The Underworld can easily provide access to any
number of underground locales, information which may be useful to other
Groups as well.

**Scelectious [88-95] Group IV (Experimental)

Historical Reference – Over two thousand years ago, the Patron Immortal
of Thievery was vanquished by a new, young Initiate named Denethor [c.f.
Evolution]. The son of Sol and the Runic Heiarch of Lagur (Water),
Denethor is not bound by the Protocols, allowing him to roam The
Tarathan at will. Now, a host of villians have nearly succeeded in
returning the `Immortal Who is No More’ to the Prime Plane. For the
past thousand years, the priests, Chosen and Servitors of Scelectious
have maintained a hidden temple in the Onyx Keep, dominion of the chief
campaign antagonist, Finsternis. They have finally neared the point
where they are ready to try to break the binding that holds their
Immortal.

Campaign Goal and Challenges – The PC’s must identify the threat of the
Scelectious’ minions, and find a way to either stop the shattering of
the Barrier, or face and kill the Immortal on this plane. – I. Supported by Finsternis, the remaining Priests, Chosen and Servitors
of Scelectious, will fanatically defend their Temple and the coin which
is the key to breaking the Barrier.
– II. For a variety of reasons, most of the Twenty fear the power of
Scelectious upon the face of The Tarathan and have commanded their
Chosen to cooperate in preventing his return.
– III. In infiltrating the Onyx Keep, PC’s will be confronted by the
spectre of one of Kry’s Knights, and “Yesterday’s Son”, bearer of the
First Treasure of Old.
– IV. Finsternis, seeking a easy path to Immortality, hopes to vanquish
the weakened survivor of the imminent battle between Sceletious and
Denethor.
Specific References –
[18-19, 125] The son of Finsternis (the `Outsider’) and Elsavin (the
`Scion of Willows’), aged through the blood sacrifice of his mother’s
life, bears the First Treasure of Old [c.f. Riders] and has been raised
to be the first leader of the Shadgodon’s Celarion.
[52] Deramis ip Baccus (the `Assassin Invisible’), one of the few
surviving Scarael Excalibur and servant of Finsternis will infiltrate
the PC’s Group and strike from within.

**Seers’ Obelisk [115-122] Group I (Main Characters)

Historical Reference – The Seers’ Obelisk, made from Power-receptive
Shadowstone, is in fact a massive psionic beacon created to contact
creatures with active and potential psionic powers, and draw them to it.
Once it has contacted all of the minds within range of its `call’, it
will siphon off their ability and channel it to Alain, the Patron
Immortal of Fate.

Campaign Goal and Challenges – Locate and destroy the Obelisk before it
completely drains all psionic potential from The Tarathan, raising Alain
to a position far beyond the rest of the Twenty. – I. Kry’s spirit, fully awaked by the last of the Four Treasures of Old
being used once more against the Riders, will draw Penumbra to the
Obelisk for their final battle.
– II. The Obelisk is virtually invulnerable from physical, psychic
and magical attack, with the exception of it’s base [“It’s four corners
are weaker than the one.”]
– III. The `Armies of the North’ will be forced to engage in the battles
sundering the Southern Lands, culminating in the Call of the Obelisk.

Specific References –
[74-75] The Seers, in need of massive quantities of Shadowstone, enter
into an agreement with the Dark elves, who control the remaining
sources of the mystical rock. However, after receiving the Stone,
betray them to the Rider Scourge, who unleases a devastating plague upon
in the Underworld.

-=-=-=-=-= LESSER LINES =-=-=-=-=-=-

**Finsternis [16-23] Group I (Main Characters)

Historical Reference – Finsternis, an ancient, evil black dragon,
shapechanged into a High Elf, becomes the chief campaign antagonist in
his quest for Immortality. Lord of the Onyx Keep high in the Amaranthan
Alps, he can be found througout the Southern Kingdoms in the service of
the dark Immortals.

Campaign Goal and Challenges – Oppose Finsternis’ aims. – I. Finsternis will be instrumental in formenting dissent among in the
most volitile areas of the Southern Kingdoms, inter alia the Windlands –
Amaranth conflict and the Sand Lords’ Jihad.
– II. The `Temple Prime of the Banished Immortal’ is housed in
Finsternis’ keep, which will be the staging ground for the battle
between Denethor and Scelectious.
– III. Finsternis’ son, the new Rose of the Celarion, will seek to avenge
his father’s “death”

Specific References –
[77, 104] In his quasi-immortal state, Finsternis will be the only
person capable of placing the Heart of The Tarathan in the Dark elves’
Chamber of the Spheres.
[125] `The Scion of Willows’ , Elsavin, will betray the PC’s and marry
Finsternis, giving him a son.

**Prayle [43-50] Group III (Castle)

Historical Reference – Hundreds of years ago, a renegade arch-mage was
sealed into a mountain crypt in Selidon Valley. Opened and awakened by
an earthquake, the insane mage, Prayle, now seeks the remaining keys to
his power and revenge on the Council Arcana, who imprisioned him.
Unknown to him, the entire Council is in stasis under the watchful eye
of the Northern Elven kingdom, awaiting the Call of the Seers’ Obelisk.

Campaign Goal and Challenges – Find and kill Prayle, before he regains
his full power through the Orbs of Cymid Dar. Also, fulfill the
prophesy returning the Councils Arcana of Casteln Mists before the Call
of the Obelisk. – I. The discovery of Casteln Mists will prompt Selidon’s Keep to
mobilize, which will trigger an orc and troll offensive in the south of
the Protectorate.
– II. Prayle’s death will signal the first major failure of Power from the
Tarathan.
– III. Vladyen the lich, Prayle’s mentor, will haunt Casteln Mists after
the Council returns and the castle becomes a part of the Protectorate.
Specific References –
[108,109] “Spinner of Falsehood” names Prayle, “Archmage of Sleepers”
names Chelic, of the Council Major

**Dark elves [70-77] Group II (Bonded)

Historical Reference – Driven from the surface by the Earthshaker wars,
one Elven clan survived in the shadows of the Underworld. With their
sensitivity to the flows of Power in the world, the elves recognize the
danger of the Arcanum and have begun construction of the Chamber of the
Spheres in order to restore Power to The Tarathan.

Campaign Goal and Challenges – Find the Heart of the Tarathan and
assist the Dark elves in the construction of the Chamber. – I. Shunned and misunderstood by most races, the Dark elves are
extremely defensive and wary of strangers, especially after the outbreak
of plague.
– II. The Illithid and Seers both will seek to prevent any contact with
the Dark elves and the completion of the Chamber.
– III. In its final stages, any mortal approaching the Chamber will be
destroyed by the Power already coursing through it, necessitating a
quasi-divine intervention (Finsternis).
Specific References –
[11-12] As the magical drain becomes more drastic, the Runic Heiarch of
Lagur (Water) increasingly uses her powers to try and contain the
damage.
[13-14] Agathon, preoccupied for several thousand years with his search
for the Heart of The Tarathan, will return after its discorvery (see
“Tokens”) and transform the surviving Dark Elves into his new Chosen,
banishing the Illithid.
[63] The growing revolution against the Illithid complicates movement
and completion of the Nucleus.
[22-23, 72-73, 76-77, 99, 103-104] Finsternis (c.f.), trapped in his
rise to Immortality in a nether-plane and neither mortal or immortal, is
the only person capable of completing the magical `circuit’ – the Heart
of the Tarathan – in the Dark elves “Chamber of the Spheres”, however,
the act, while restoring Power to The Tarathan, would also fully elevate
him to the Twenty.
[108] “Shaman Below” names the High Advisor Teranis of the Dark elves,
who will first accept the PC’s offers of help.

**Demon/War [97-104] Group IV (Experimental)

Historical Reference – Using a stolen Dark Elven soul crystal, a
foolish Amaranthan mage succeeds in summoning a demon, which then breaks
free and kills him. After ravaging the Broken Lands, it begins to enter
the Windlands, which is taken as an act of war, as the frayed tensions
with Amaranth snap and fighting begins. The demon makes its way
singlemindedly toward the Cloud Mountain where a sea of undead and
spirits wait for release.

Campaign Goal and Challenges – Stop the Demon and try to stem the
escalation of hostilities between Amaranth and The Windlands. – I. Factions both inside and outside the countries have strong interests
in the continuation of the conflict, including the Adatians, Develinian
Arms Dealers, and Finsternis, among others.
– II. The Dark elves do not care about the war, but will stop at nothing
to retrieve their stolen crystal, which is in the possession of, and key
to the banishment of the demon.
– III. The whole incident, from the crystal to the declaration of war, was
actually a plot by the Seers to test their influence and destabilize a
region highly resistant to their plans.
Specific References – [9] A Ritual Spell of War, the “Dragon of Ash”,
will be unleashed upon the invading Windlanders, but the drain upon the
Arcanum will cause the first magic-dead period.

**Tokens [124-131] Group I (Main Characters)

Historical Reference – Five of the Immortals (Goldoron, Rydion, Solonor,
Denethor, and Agathon) will act as the guides, patrons and challengers
of the PC’s throughout the campaign. Their tokens grant a limited
passage and assistance in the realms of their Immorals, as well as being
keys to the ultimate completion of the campaign.

Campaign Goal and Challenges – Pass the various tests and collect the
tokens of the Five Immortals. – I. Goldoron (Matter) – Token of the Karellion
– II. Rydion (Time) – Token of the Flute
– III. Solonor (Thought) – Token of the Branch
– IV. Denethor (Energy) – Token of the Hand
– V. Agathon (Entropy) – Token of the Heart
Specific References –
[4] Successfully banishing or destroying Scelectious will win
Denethor’s Token of the Hand.
[13] If Agathon is led to the Heart of The Tarathan, his quest will be
fulfilled and he will present it as his Token.
[53] The Emerald Heiress is the Lady of an Elven family-keep lost under
a curse banishing them into a loop of time. Rescuing them will win the
Token and friendship of the clan.

++++++ SONG OF SOLASTIN ASH +++++++

1 “The Power of this world shall fade from the Well,
2 And the Thirteen shall ride from the dark pits of Hell,
3 The sea shall rise up and strike `gainst the land,
4 And the shadow of twilight shall wound thy right hand,
5 The deaf shall hear the call of the One,
6 And the face of the Twenty shall turn to the Sun.

7 Immortal Power ne’er meant for fool aims,
8 Jewel’s path disrupts and destiny claims,
9 The Dragon of Ash shall herald the Fall,
10 As chaos lays claim to the Immortal Hall.

11 As farther the Soul of the Jewel disappears,
12 The Lost Lady washes the wound with her tears,
13 The Forsaker, his treasure at the Heart of the earth,
14 Shall champion the Soulless, in the hour of their birth.

15 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

16 He not of the Jewel both minion and lord,
17 holds forth Darkness’ banner from magic and sword,
18 corrupts one of the Light and First Treasure bestows
19 upon Yesterday’s Child, the fount of the Rose.

20 In death finds he the Door, yet passes not through,
21 in the service of Five, as the Power withdrew,
22 Heroes of Light, in Healing the Land,
23 shall grant him the right with the Twenty to stand.

24 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

25 As the Earthshaker Wars turned the mountains to sand,
26 And grim nightmares unleashed stalked o’er the land,
27 Did the Sorcerer King incant damnation bold,
28 Above, in the heavens, came the comet foretold.

29 With the swiftness of Yeristict’s Coursers it came,
30 And bore down on Hanel and poured forth its flame,
31 As the impact shifted the heart of the world,
32 Magic unbidden through the heavens unfurled.

33 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

34 The Vanguard of ancients, of Darkness unchained,
35 Crashed ‘gainst the Triad as the Light slowly waned,
36 The Spirits of Four, in the hands of their kin,
37 Defied the Dark Bastion and the shadows within.

38 The Guilty, yet Blameless, Devinra’s legacies’ doom,
39 Hoofbeats of thunder from the cold prison tomb,
40 Despair in the Caverns, Shades silently rise,
41 History’s Treasures the Just shall advise…

42 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

43 Fortress and mountain, sanctuary, catacomb,
44 Shelters secrets forgotten and Stone-Father’s Tome,
45 Watched o’er by the Queen, and from eternity freed,
46 Old Magic shall rise at the height of Light’s Need.

47 Three silvern dangers from the Dark One bestowed,
48 Upon the Weaver imprisoned tidings evil forbode,
49 The last Dragon’s Keep, the Historian’s soul,
50 The fall of the Shadow foretells the Bell’s toll.

51 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

52 An Assassin Invisible, the Shaper of Stone
53 The Emerald Heiress and the Watchman Alone,
54 Son of the Wind sacrificed to the Skies,
55 The Harper, the Gallant, the Sage to the Wise.

56 No actor untouched by fate or design,
57 No one without title, or known by a Sign,
58 Born to nobility in a court never seen,
59 Pauper and prince, servant or queen.

60 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

61 The Master, his minions the Cornerstones rend,
62 And the Heroes above are called to defend,
63 `Gainst the tyrannous Chosen, tide rises below,
64 As above the Jewel’s oceans, their boundaries o’erflow.

65 Nought but the Saplings of the Granite Lord’s wood,
66 Have the weight of the heavens collapsing withstood,
67 The waters of Erdefount and the Deep’s fertile soil,
68 Shall spring forth the seed, and quell Chaos’ toil.

69 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

70 Long banished from sunlight, long lost to the earth
71 From the city of starlight springs exile’s worth,
72 From the Kingdom Unknown shall the River arise,
73 At the close of the Age e’re the last Magic’s tide.

74 The Servants Unseeing `gainst the Hidden conspire,
75 Contagion’s curse strikes the spark to the pyre,
76 The Heartbeat, the Token, the double-edged sword,
77 No mortal deed shall see the Power restored.

78 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

79 In the times e’er the Reckoning ages ago,
80 As Immortals crossed heavens and mountains below,
81 The Mistress of Rings and the Champion’s might
82 Challenged Corruption’s hold and the forces of Night.

83 The Vanguards met and Stars looked down upon,
84 The ageless challenge `twixt twilight and dawn,
85 By the Lightwoven path to the Point of Time’s Close,
86 Betrayal fell and malevolence rose.

87 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

88 From beyond the Barrier the Banishd cries,
89 His Chosen, forgotten and Faith slowly dies,
90 Rise up in the Darkness and strike forth to reclaim,
91 That stolen by Childsplay, the dusklight aflame.

92 One not of the Twenty, yet once of the Jewel,
93 Watches in anticipation, to challenge the Rule,
94 Else mortal endeavor Immortality ends,
95 The Fall of the Youngest Jewelshatter portends.

96 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

97 Arrogance folly calls forth kindling of war,
98 From progeny’s rest, and forgotten lore,
99 The cost of the Radiance, the Land of Fell Dreams,
100 Still Guardian the price of the folly redeems.

101 Great powers clash and Pawns move to their whims,
102 Below battle continues and Jewelspirit dims.
103 Cascade unquenchable, hope from the Unclaimed,
104 Shall heal heaven’s wound, and the Initiate Named.

105 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

106 Lords of the North, the Teacher of Runes,
107 the Bonded and Fettered yet free to be Doomed,
108 Spinner of Falsehood and the Shaman Below,
109 Archmage of Sleepers, the Master of the Bow.

110 A song for each person, but a single tale winds
111 across the ages and to destiny binds,
112 Tools of the Masters who art Pawns of the Game,
113 Each identity secret until found by the Name.

114 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

115 In the age of the Bastions, the Triad preserves,
116 The Balance twixt Sol and the Power that He serves,
117 From the Village Unending, to Peaks’ fiery gate,
118 and the Castellan’s Keep, Trynnia’s borders create.

119 Of Old, He holds Power of magic and mind,
120 Thirteen in the dungeons of Elden shall bind,
121 King’s Rest – the Foundation, the One’s final call,
122 Places the Blind at the Crown of the Hall.

123 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

124 Clanschief Unchosen, Harmony’s Thread,
125 Scion of Willows, to the Outsider wed,
126 the Duty’s Companion, and the Healer of Woes,
127 Shall see the unfolding till eternity’s close.

128 The fourth of the Twenty shall be mortal guide,
129 with strength undiscovered `gainst destiny’s tide,
130 Their Tokens deserve and through fire shall receive,
131 lines of all colors, a tapestry weave.

132 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

133 Twelve platinum chests, and the last living jewel,
134 The life of a maiden and the ritual cruel,
135 The Mason crafted the Galleon of Stone,
136 Earth Magic sprung from mercy unknown.

137 Vengeance descended and sought to demand,
138 The sacrifice due and the traitor command,
139 But greater Force struck the messenger down,
140 And gifted the Martyr the rebellion’s crown.

141 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well,
142 And the Thirteen shall ride from the dark pits of Hell,
143 The sea shall rise up and strike `gainst the land,
144 And the shadow of twilight shall wound thy right hand,
145 The deaf shall hear the call of the One,
146 And the face of the Twenty shall turn to the Sun.”

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Phil Scadden, Scadden Research
55 Buick St, Petone, Lower Hutt
New Zealand
ph (04) 568-7190, fax (04) 569 5016